The Montreal Canadiens organization has reassigned goaltender Marc Denis back to their AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs. When the Habs' No.1 goaltender Carey Price injured on his ankle on Dec. 30, 2008, Denis was called up to serve as backup for Jaroslav Halak.
In his stint up with the bigger club, Denis only played a short period of 20 minutes where he relieved Halak who had allowed three goals on 21 shots. Denis allowed one goal while facing seven shots in that short span.
The biggest news for any Habs fan would be that of the return of Carey Price who has missed eight consecutive appearances. His ankle caused him many difficulties and he couldn't even skate up until last Wednesday.
Another point to note would be that coach Guy Carbonneau, in his post-practice address to the media, precisely said that if his No. 1 goaltender couldn't play a game this week (Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday or New Jersey Devils on Wednesday), he should probably forfeit his appearance in the 2009 All-Star game. The game is being held in Montreal and Price was voted into it by the fans.
A day after this was said, Price had miraculously recovered and skated for an hour with his teammates. While the Canadiens went to the Nation's capital to square off against the Senators, Price continued to practice on his own.
Following today's team practice, the Habs have declared that Price is ready to play simply by sending Marc Denis back to the Bulldogs. Now the only question left is to know if he will start on Tuesday or Wednesday.
I strongly feel that Carbonneau won't be starting Price back-to-back especially because he is returning from injury. So, I think that Price should be starting on Tuesday against the Thrashers. Usually, goaltenders have shaky starts when they come back after a long break (three weeks for Pricey).
This move would suggest that Halak has to start Wednesday. And this would also be a way to reward Jaro for his excellent performance while covering the nets during Price's absence. He has five victories and two losses with a 3.33 goals against average. Most importantly, he bounced back after a bad start which was a 4-1 loss to the Devils.
So, I feel that it would be best for him to get the start this Wednesday against New Jersey because it would be the perfect chance for him to redeem himself and play again in the hometown of the Devils.
So, now that the goaltending situation has come back to normal, Saku Koivu should be next in line to make his return.
The only question which is left to be debated is to know if Price is really 100 percent recovered or if he went through this speedy recovery just to be able to participate in the All-Star game, is he really alright?
Anyhow, I just want a healthy Price for a long playoff run and he is bright enough to know what is good for him and for the team. He will for sure not make a wrong decision and put his health in jeopardy.