Before I give my opinion on Carey Price, I just want to say that I am a Leafs fan and am going to try to be as non-biased as possible on the subject.
In the last 10 years, there have been very few goalies with more hype going into the NHL. The only exceptions I can see are Marc-Andre Fleury and Rick DiPietro, but they weren't going to hockey-mad cities.
Montreal is one of the greatest hockey cities in the world with some of the most loyal fans, but with that, comes a lot of pressure to perform.
In Carey Price's situation, he knows that better then anyone. He is considered to be "the next Patrick Roy" and is "going to lead us to the promise land." That is a lot of pressure for a guy who can't even legally drink in the US yet.
But I guess it comes with the territory of being drafted by an Original Six team.
The sad thing is is it seems like the fans of Montreal are blind of that fact and still consider him the next Patrick Roy. Frankly, that's just not fair.
I will admit the kid has skills. He was 24-12-3 with a 2.56 GAA and .920 SPCT. These are incredible statistics for any goaltender, not to mention he was only 20-years-old while doing this well. But does anyone remember the playoffs??
In his last three games, he let in 12 goals, had a .831 SPCT, and was replaced in Game 4 of the Philly series for Jaroslav Halak, obviously the pressure was too much for him.
The funny thing is is that I have never seen such support for a player playing so shaky. Even after letting in three quick goals against Philly in the second period of the final game, Montreal fans still cheered for Price so he would play better, I have never seen such support.
But still, the fact remains that as much raw talent as he has, there is no guarantee that he will be a superstar. Does anyone remember Alexander Daigle? He was supposed to be a superstar too and where is he now?
I am not saying this will happen to Price. Not by a longshot. It's just that being labelled as the next Patrick Roy is a lot of pressure and not everybody can handle it the same.
Carey Price will be in the league for a long time as a starting goaltender. But getting your hopes up after playing half a season in the NHL is a little premature and putting all your eggs into one basket can sometimes lead to a big mess.