What do you need to know about last night's big stories? Joe McDonald gives us his take on the biggest and best. This is where we say "Morning, Joe."
Pressure is on Price: If the Montreal Canadiens had the blueprint to keep goalie Carey Price healthy, successful and fresh for a possible Stanley Cup playoff run this spring, it has been shredded because his workload is about to increase. The Atlantic Division leaders lost two key players as forwards Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais will both be sidelined six to eight weeks with knee injuries. This could be devastating for the Canadiens. Galchenyuk, 22, has been a potent offensive threat with nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points in 25 games. Montreal hasn't been a dominant team from a defensive standpoint, but when you have the best goalie in the world, it makes up for any deficiencies on the back end. Along with veteran blueliner and first-year Canadien Shea Weber, Price will need to play out of his mind. His workload will increase as the team's puck possession will likely decrease. Veteran forward Andrew Shaw, who won two Stanley Cup championships with the Chicago Blackhawks before being traded to Montreal, can be moved from the wing to center, but that's not the solution. A trade is not, either. Price will have to do his job to keep the Canadiens in a playoff position.
Out of the box, Caps: If Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz wants to publicly criticize captain Alex Ovechkin for being penalized too much, that message needs to extend to Ovechkin's teammates. While No. 8 stayed out of the box during a 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, it was a power-play score that helped Boston erase a three-goal deficit to tie the game late in the third period. It was a stupid penalty by the Capitals' Tom Wilson that led to a game-tying goal from Boston's Colin Miller. On the penalty, the Bruins' Anton Blidh got rid of the puck in plenty of time before Wilson came in with a late hit and made head contact. It's those types of penalties, especially with a one-goal lead, that the Capitals need to avoid. It doesn't matter if it's Ovechkin or any of his teammates. An undisciplined team won't win, and Trotz is trying to make that point.
Best of luck, John: I'm going to miss everything about John Scott and what he stood for during his 10-year NHL career. I've enjoyed his openness in the last calendar year over his All-Star appearance in Nashville last winter. It was wonderful to see how the fans and players accepted his presence at the event, even though it started off as an online voting joke. The NHL now has the "John Scott Rule" in place so a player who is demoted or injured won't get into the game again. He recently wrote a column in The Players' Tribune in which he announced his retirement. It was a wonderful and honest read from an educated husband and father. He believes fighting should remain part of the game, and I agree, as long as it's not staged. Yes, the game is changing, but I hope there's another quality guy like John Scott in this game soon, with the only difference being he can score a few more goals.