Carey Price became the Montreal Canadiens unquestioned starting goaltender this season, and it has already paid dividends. When the Montreal Canadiens traded Jaroslav Halak this summer, many people thought they had made a huge mistake. I was not one of them.
When Carey Price was pulled in his first preseason game after allowing four goals on 10 shots, many faithful of the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge were crying for Halak back. These cries has been few and far between as of late, and for good reason.
Carey Price racked up his league leading 11th win tonight, in a masterful 41 save shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers, in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals. It was Price's second shutout in his last four games, and third of the season. Price has allowed only three goals in those four games, and has stopped 137 out of 140 shots during that time.
Carey Price has rebounded from a sub par season to provide the Montreal Canadiens with the type of consistency and spectacular play that they have needed to jump out of the gates with a 12-5-1 record. Price has logged more ice time than any other goalie in the league, and has never allowed more than three goals by the end of regulation.
In fact, he allowed four goals only once, in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, where Price's performance was still worthy of third star.
The fact that Price is playing so well with so much pressure on him after the Halak deal has proved many critics wrong. Many who said Price could not handle the pressure of Montreal, have to be rethinking that statement right about now.
The season is still young, but if Price keeps up this type of play, he could become the first Canadiens goaltender since Jose Theodore to win the Vezina trophy as the league's best goaltender. With an 11-5-1 record, an 2.05 GAA, and a .930 save percentage he is going a long way to prove that last year is well behind him, and that the Habs will get the type of performances they were hoping for when they drafted him with the fifth overall pick.