Goaltender Carey Price to return to Canadaiens
For the first time since July 7, 2021, Price carefully will start a game for Montreal Canada tonight. The confirmation group that the star keeper will be activated and playing in tonight’s game against the New York Islanders, starting his first game since making 29 of 30 saves in Chung’s fifth game loss to Tampa Bay Lightning. Stanley Cup final last year.
Without him this season, things didn’t go as planned. The Canadaiens got off to a brutal start, costing head coach Dominique Ducharme and general manager Marc Bergevin their job, when the team was standing at the bottom of the NHL standings. Since Jeff Gorton, Kent Hughes, and Martin St. Louis took over things are improving, although Canada is still not good enough to compete in the Atlantic Division and was knocked out of the playoffs last week.
Even with very little competition, Price’s return is a huge positive for the Canadaiens. One of the highest-paid players in the league, netminder carrying a $10.5 million cap has crippled Montreal’s squad-building if he’s not at his peak. Looking ahead to next season, the team has little chance of competing for a playoff spot without a healthy, competitive Price.
His return tonight will be an incredibly emotional moment for netminder and the entire organization. A franchise icon even in such a long history, Price will turn 35 in August and is about to suffer another serious trauma, along with mental health and abuse struggles. Drug use forced him out of action at the start of this season. In November, he made a long statement explained his absence, asked for privacy as he checked into a residential treatment facility for substance abuse and participated in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.
The question now becomes his long-term prospects and whether he can return to the goalkeeper that led Montreal to the knockout stages last season, or even to seventh in the Vezina Trophy vote. in 2019. A .917 career savings rate was pulled. down significantly from his two previous campaigns, when he posted .909 in 2019-20 and .901 in 2020-21.
Either way, he’ll be back on the ice tonight in search of a 361 win, which will see him go even further on the all-time leaderboard and towards the 400-winning club. Only 13 netminders in history have reached that number, with Ryan Miller next closest at 391. Price, who is contracted until 2025-26, has sat comfortably in first place among Canadian goalkeepers, ahead of 46 wins Jacques Plante.