After an amazing 2007-08 season, and leading the Montreal Canadiens to the top spot in the eastern conference, will Carey Price shake off his down fall in his first NHL post season?
It was said that Carey was quite shaken up after his team was eliminated against the Flyers. We can all understand why he was depressed - the kid is a winner. Lets take a quick look at his road map prior to move up to the big team:
2006-2007 - WHL West First All-Star Team
2006-2007- Del Wilson Trophy (WHL Top Goaltender)
2006-2007 - CHL Goaltender of the year
2007- Jack A. Butterfield Trophy (AHL Playoffs MVP)
2007 - Calder Cup (with the Hamilton Bulldogs)
2007 (October) - Molson Cup
2008 (March) - NHL Rookie of the Month
2007-2008 - NHL All-Rookie Team
Last year, with the Canadiens, Price played 41 games, posted 24 wins, 12 losses, and 3 overtime losses, with a 2.56 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. Not bad for his rookie year.
After last season, Price had said that he wasn't 100% physically and mentally during the 2nd playoff round against the Flyers. He needed to go away for awhile to rest. So, he turned off his cell and went back home (British Columbia) to go fishing.
Without a shred of a doubt, Price will be back next season bigger and stronger. Bob Gainey signed Marc Denis earlier this month, which is good news for Price.
Of course Halak also signed, but it is quite obvious that Halak has no intention to be second goalie - he is too good to be second. Halak will probably be dealt in the course of the 2008-09 season and Denis will be called up.
Denis is an experienced veteran of 9 season in the NHL. He was a first round draft pick by the Colorado Avalanche in 1995. He didn't play his first NHL game with Colorado until the 1998-99 season.
He was eventually dealt to Columbus, where he spent five years before he was traded to Tampa Bay.
Last year Denis had his share of trouble posting a record of 1-5-0 with a 4.05 GAA and a .859 SV% in 10 games with the Lightning.
Once Denis joins the big club to backup Price, he will act as a great mentor to the youngster. Denis' experience is "priceless" to help Carey get better, and he WILL be better. In fact, he'll be dominant. It wouldn't be surprising to see Price win the Vézina Trophy this year.
Habs' fans are not to be worried. Last year the team finished first in the east, had the best offense, and the best powerplay. And did that without guys like Tanguay and Laraque.
There's no doubt the Canadiens will clinch a playoff spot with ease next season, thanks to Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau.