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Puck Monday: Halak Starts for Canucks in Chicago, NHL Win Streak, Coach Breaks Ribs

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Vancouver Canucks Jaroslav Halak
Vancouver Canucks goalie Jaroslav Halak.

The Vancouver Canucks get set to take on the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center tonight followed by a game against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. One would expect to see a Canucks goalie split, as in Jaroslav Halak takes one game and Thatcher Demko takes the other. And our update is exactly that; after hearing from Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau, it will be Halak then Demko.

With two healthy NHL goalies out of protocol, Spencer Martin, the 26-year-old netminder who won his first NHL game on Thursday in Winnipeg against the Jets and took four of a possible six points over his three starts, was assigned back to Abbotsford of the AHL on Sunday.

While we await the BC Boys to take their morning twirl, let’s take one ourselves …

Let’s Skate ! …

An Avalanche of Wins

Following up our compilation here on Saturday, the Colorado Avalanche extended their home winning streak to 18 on Sunday with a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. They set a record for the most NHL wins ever in the month of January, 15, which also ties the record for most wins in any single NHL month. The Pittsburgh Penguins did it in March of 2013 and the Boston Bruins did it in the same month a year later.

It’s a pretty decent bet that the Avalanche will get to nineteen straight with the Arizona Coyotes set to visit the Ball Arena on Tuesday night. The NHL home win streak record belongs to the 2011-’12 Detroit Red Wings at 23.

Colorado will be without Nathan MacKinnon until after the NHL All-Star break after he suffered a facial fracture against the Boston Bruins on a hit by Taylor Hall last Wednesday. MacKinnon will miss the All-Star Game itself this coming Saturday; he was slated to be the Central Division captain. Nashville Predators defenceman Roman Josi replaces him on the roster.

The Price of Admission

Montreal Canadiens fans might get a chance to Carey Price don the Bleu, Blanc and Rouge again shortly. Of course for them to see him in person two things need to happen: He needs to actually play and Covid capacity protocols in Quebec need to change again to allow fans back into the Bell Centre.

Speaking of Covid, Price contracted the virus earlier this month which slowed his rehabilitation from off-season knee surgery. The 34-year-old goalie threw on the full pads and skated for the first time two days ago.

Montreal Hockey Now shares Price’s meeting with the media from Sunday.

Reminder: Ice is Hard

Hockey Canada says Olympic Men’s Head Coach Claude Julien slipped and fell on the ice during team building activities in Davos, Switzerland three days ago, fractured ribs, and will be unable to fly to Beijing on the advice of doctors. Former Chicago Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton will take over for Team Canada in Beijing. Former Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner remains one of the assistants as Colliton takes the reins.

Team Canada men open against Germany in Beijing on February 10th.

Canucks line-up updated shortly.

Enjoy the Hockey Action !!

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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