Carey Price was unquestionably Montreal’s most valuable player last season,
playing in the vast majority of games and recording career-best numbers.
With Montreal’s roster largely unchanged, the pressure is on Carey to repeat or
improve upon his performance from last year. Will he take the next step
and entrench himself as one of the league’s elite, or will he fall back to
With Alex Auld as his backup, Price was forced to play a franchise-record 72
games. He certainly made the most of his starts, going 38-28-6 over that
span and carrying the injury-plagued Canadiens into the playoffs. In his
4th NHL season, Price recorded career-best numbers for games played, wins, save
percentage and shutouts. Carey’s 38 wins were good for 1st in the NHL,
tying with Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo.
Season Stats: 72 GP, 38-28-6, 2.35 GAA, .923 SV%, 8 Shutouts.
Barring any injuries or epic collapses, Price will start and end the season
as Montreal’s starting goaltender. Although Peter Budaj represents an
upgrade as Carey Price’s backup, Montreal fans can expect to see Price to start
the majority of games yet again. That being said, Budaj’s abilities will
likely see Carey start a few less games, and perhaps face easier competition on
some nights, should Budaj earn Jacques Martin’s trust. If Carey shows
sustained improvement, it isn’t out of the question that Price could earn
consideration for the Vezina trophy.
Even with playing less games, Price still stands a chance to improve upon
last year’s numbers. If Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges remain healthy, and
if P.K. Subban continues to improve consistently, Price’s peripheral numbers
may very well improve. Martin’s system should insulate Carey from
increased scoring chances, and should the Canadiens improve all-around, Price’s
win total may creep over 40.
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