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Morning Flurries: Bernier on top

Jonathan Bernier makes headlines during bye week with league recognition

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to day two of the bye week!

This is where things start getting really boring; the team’s last little bits of news trickled in on Monday, and now they get to just sit and wait.

The news that did trickle in, though, was excellent for the team. It was announced that Jonathan Bernier had earned second star of the week across the NHL, taking home the accolades with his stellar stats during his last three games as the team’s interim starter.

With another shutout in his second ‘emergency starter debut’ of the year (sound familiar?) and a .957 save percentage in all situations through a three-game perfect win record in the week time span, Bernier did everything the team needed him to and then some.

There’s always the question of just how far he’ll be able to take that success, but that’s quite literally a topic for another day. For now, bask in the glory of a little appreciation shown to one of the league’s quieter guys. [Mile High Hockey]

Also, ICYMI, a few Avalanche prospects picked up some nice, shiny golden hardware this past week. Read all about it, plus the scrubs that couldn’t quite hack it on their national teams! [MHH]

Around the league, there’s another bye week happening (well, a few, but one that’s worth really watching): the Montreal Canadiens.

Montreal has been steaming garbage this year. There’s quite literally no way to pretend they haven’t been. Through 42 games, their highest-scoring players have just 23 (!!!!) points apiece, with Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty, and Alex Galchenyuk sitting splitting the abysmal scoring lead.

For reference, that’s nine fewer points than the scoring lead on the Arizona Coyotes. If the trio played for the league’s last-place team - which didn’t win a game for their first 11 tilts of the season, mind you - they’d be sitting tied for third in scoring, and just two points out of fourth (which is held by Alex Goligoski, a defenseman). The highest-scoring defenseman on Montreal? Shea Weber, who only has 26 games played so far.

Yeah, it’s that bad.

They aren’t dead last in the league partly by virtue of Carey Price and his streaks of elite perfection, but they’re in dangerous territory for a team that was hoping to contend for the cup. Will that mean big changes during the bye week? [Habs Eye On The Prize]

Some good news out west, though, in the world of college hockey:

Arizona State just took home their first official NCAA tournament victory (winning upsets over both Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech to claim the prize) this weekend. [Five For Howling]

It’s also nearing that point in the season where we’re seeing those bitter potential playoff rivalries heat up... and the game this weekend between Boston and Pittsburgh was a perfect example. [PensBurgh]

FINALLY, in the world of college football...

Good morning, guys. Enjoy waking up to this, I guess.