Carey Price had more question marks surrounding him than any Montreal Canadiens player entering the season. He answered those questions and has established himself as one of the best, if not the best, goaltender in the league.
[Editor’s Note: This is the last of the Canadiens Report Cards. I hope you enjoyed them. If you missed any, or just want to see some of them again, you could find them here.
STATS: 59 Games | 34-20-5 | 2.32 GAA | .927 SV% | 13.9 Point Shares
PLAYOFFS: 12 games | 8-4 | 2.35 GAA | .919 SV%
STORY: Carey Price was the reason this team made the playoffs. The team’s possession stats dropped mightily, and they were the constantly the worst regular season team to advance (even though their possession stats improved greatly in the playoffs.)
Price started the season strong, and never really let up. He struggled a bit just before the Olympics (.916 save percentage in December and ,891 in January) but really became re-invigorated after his outstanding Olympic Games where he won the Gold Medal with Team Canada.
Not so surprisingly, those months were also when the Canadiens were struggling the most as well.
Price was 11-4-1 with a 2.00 GAA and .941 save percentage after the Olympics. In a 16 game sample, that’s pretty darn good.
He should have been a lot higher than 4th in the Vezina Trophy rankings, and should have gotten serious Hart Trophy consideration. Price was the MVP of the Montreal Canadiens, and let’s face it, if he was healthy could have ended the Canadiens season differently.
Price gets the highest grade of this series. He was the Canadiens star and exceeded even the highest expectations for the season. No one would have expected a Gold Medal and a 3rd round playoff berth. Most of that is due to Price.
FUTURE: Price going into next year, will all but likely see a drop in his very good numbers which has many people fearing the worst for the Canadiens. However, if they can improve their posession play, they won’t need Price to be at the level he was at this season.
Price is signed until the 2018-19 season at $6.5 million per season as a cap hit. There aren’t a lot of goalies who deserve the long-term contracts they received but Price is definitely one of them. He erased all question marks about his big game struggles and playoff struggles in a span of several months.
However, there are still some people who are suggesting – seriously – that the Canadiens trade Dustin Tokarski so that Price doesn’t feel threatened. This isn’t 2010, anymore. Price is a star.
2018-19: Unrestricted free-agent