It seems inevitable that we the Habs Faith-full and Habs critics pick apart the play of Carey Price. But are we really unfair, this is the same goaltender that has been compared to the likes of Roy after all.
Some people say that Price is failing at the net this season, well I for one disagree. His play last year was more than some hoped for but this season is proving worthwhile for Price and his development. J
ust a quick look at his stats last year: Playing 41 games he has a 24-12-3 with a 2.56 GAA and .920 SV percentage. These are no stats to laugh at. Now compare last season to this season: With 21 games under his belt he has 13-4-4 with a 2.37 GAA and .920 SV percentage. If he continues at this rate and plays around the same amount of games as last year then he would have a very eye opening 26-8-8. Though I doubt he would play anything less of 60 games if he continues at the pace he is at.
Now look at his consistency, Carey has not been able to lose more than two games in a row in regular game time. Only three times among his 21 games so far has he given up more than three goals. His SV percentage has been above .910 in more than half his games and has been a main factor for why his team has won games.
His last regular time loss was Nov 18th, between then and now he has five wins and three OT. His 13 wins are fifth among active goaltenders, above the Pens Fleury (8), Caps Theodore (8), Canucks Luongo (11) and the Leafs Toskala (11). Though he is only in his second year of the NHL he has proven he is among the best.
But still people argue that Halak is not being given the chance he deserves for the quality of play he provides for the team. Now don’t get me wrong I am thankful for the wins Halak has given our team, but the overall quality of his play deserves him only a backup to Price.
So far this season with nine games played he is 3-4-1 with 2.38 GAA and a .918 SV percentage. Besides his low win total his stats are decent as a backup and prove worthy when all else fails. But unless he plays on a constant stream of games he would not come to his full potential. Which can’t be done since Price needs all the games he can get to hone his skills.
In my opinion bring back Dennis, who is a veteran player at the end of his career. He has proven himself worthy in past seasons and would give Price much need leadership on and off the ice. Trade Halak to a place where he would be truly appreciated. I suggest Ottawa, Phoenix or LA where all their goalies are struggling to make ends meet in the net. But otherwise Halak should be prepared to sit on the bench for 10 game stretches unless otherwise stated.
Since Roy no other goalie has been the sensation of the Habs. Price gives the Hab nation a hope at winning the cup. But with this hope comes a great pressure on the shoulders of the young goaltender. This helps and curses him to be fully aware of his actions and must act accordingly. Give him time to become better then Roy, and better then Plante and others. So hopefully in the years to come #31 will be beside several Stanley Cup banners.