MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens set out this season to prove to the hockey world that they are more than an adequate team playing in front of an outstanding goaltender.
They're now getting a golden opportunity to do that, though not one the Canadiens necessarily welcomed.
The news Sunday that goaltender Carey Price would be out for at least one week with a lower-body injury could not possibly be spun in a positive way. But for the Canadiens who have felt slighted by the idea that they would be lost without Price, this is a chance to put that narrative to rest.
The Canadiens began making that point in an emphatic way Sunday, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-1 behind 18 saves from backup goaltender Mike Condon to kick off a four-game homestand that also includes games against the Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins.
"We know what we're capable of," center David Desharnais said. "Every team has good players. We have Carey, the Penguins have Sidney [Crosby], the Blackhawks have [Jonathan] Toews. Everyone has their kingpin. So there's no doubt he helps us, but we're able to play without him. He's an important element of the team, but he's a part of the team."