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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Who Will Step Up?

Gump Worsley, Roggie Vachon, Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, Jose Theodore, Jaro Halak... What do they all have in common? They all took the Montreal Canadiens on their backs and carried them to victory. Those victories led to many series victories that the Habs had no business winning. These goaltenders were great for the Canadiens when they were needed the most.

Which brings me to my question who will step up for the Candiens? Will it be Price? I know I will feel the daggers of many Price fans but I have to get this off of my chest. The aforementioned group were "Money Goalies". They stepped up and single-handedly carried the Habs to victory. Can Price do that? Unfortunately, in my own humble opinion, the answer is NO.

Sure, he won the gold at the World Juniors, and the Calder cup in the AHL, but what has he done since? He is consistently inconsistent. Since taking over from Huet as the heir apparent between the pipes, Price has not lived up to his expectations. He is no Dryden, who carried the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup on his back versus the big bad Bruins. And who can forget that miracle save in game 7 of the 1971 Stanley Cup finals against the Chicago Black Hawks, when he stopped Jim Pappin with minutes left in the game and the score 3-2 for Montreal.

As far as Patrick Roy is concerned, no words can describe the look in his eyes when he carried the Canadiens to two Stanley Cup victories in 1986 and 1992. It could have been three, if there was the let down in 1989 against Calgary.

Price has yet to steal a series for the Habs. So the questions is, "Will he ever?" Can he ever live up to his potential or has he already peaked?

Judging from his last few games, reality has sunk in. The Habs are in trouble and Price has now been blown out in two consecutive games, so it appears he has hit a wall. I think the Canadiens have to seriously look at their goaltending situation moving forward because Price will not be able to carry this team to any series victory. Budaj is a good backup but not a front line goalie. What should the Habs do? I do not know, but Price is not the answer. What are your thoughts, especially after getting crushed by the Philadelphia Flyers tonight?

25 comments:

I think everybody needs to calm down. If this was a regular season and not shortened the 40th something game is the dog days of February where performances level off. Every player has hiccup through the season just the goaltender is exposed and there for all to see. Its the Montreal market which is a double edged sword. Do well your a hero have a bad few games and you need to be shipped out. Your right Carey Price has won gold in Juniors and a Calder Cup and someday he will win a Stanley Cup and all this nonsense will be forgotten. Dont be like Bruin fans when Tukka Rask has a bad game trade him and when he has a good game he is a Vezina candidate. We are better than that. Carey Price has looked out of sorts the past 2 games I agree but better now then in a couple weeks. Perhaps he is having a mental letdown are style of play puts a lot of burden on our goalie with the defenseman cheating to be a 4th forward at times. Take the good with the bad. If the playoffs come and Price struggles then we can renew this debate for now let it go

Leo is correct. As Habs fans we have a tendancy to think the sky is falling. I'm not saying adjustments need to be made but this isn't a sinking ship just yet. Goalies are pretty simple, with confidence they can play great, without it the will never. Clearly hes lost confidence so whats the strategy here? Maybe he needs to sit against the Pens and let the desire come back. Maybe we play him against a weaker opponent and let him get his confidence back. I have no doubt Carey can steal games, but in the next week we need to do everything to get him back to the point where he can.

Wayy wayyy wayyy to early to pass this kind of judgement on Price. Yes, he's struggling. Mark Andre Fleury has struggled off and on in his career too. He also won a Stanley Cup and played a huge role, too. Not just riding Sid's coattails. Wait for the playoffs. He had some big numbers on our last playoff run.

Goalies typically take longer to truly hit their peak. You don't give up on 25 kid, especially one with significant experience. Islanders dumped Luongo early because they thought DiPietro would be better. Look how that turned out.

I have absolutely no confidence in Price and our defensive corps!

How quickly do we forget all the saves Carey made for this team? 2 games!!! Really??? Come on peeps!

Carey Price is a sieve.

He didn't win gold at the world juniors! The team won despite his poor play.

Had he stopped the puck, that shootout never would have happened and most certainly never would have lasted SO long. It went on forever because he couldn't stop any shots.

Let's not forget, Price had his arse firmly nailed to the bench when Halak took us past both Pittsburgh and Washington 3 years ago.

He has no post to post speed. No ability to react. He relies on his ridiculously slow butterfly slide from side to side. Good players fill the net on him almost at will. Ultimately, this is his problem: he thinks its his job to make the pucks hit him, he doesn't understand that his job is to make saves. There is a very real difference. Budaj is the man, with his two wins against Boston. Price should sit it out.

Great article Mike...but I have to rain on your parade a litte!

It is ridiculous to group Halak and Theodore in the same sentence as Dryden and Roy.

It's equally (or more) ridiculous to call them "money" goalies, since neither of them have done more than win a few playoff rounds.

Theo had a good half season and 1 great playoff series.

Halak the same, and two great series'.

Halal continues to be a good goalie, but is nowhere near the abberant play during that one playoff.

The reason? He's not that good.

Theodore? Well, he's had zero playoff success and has been bounced from team to team, continually falling flat on his face.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about Price.

In my mind, there is no question that he is just not right. His play is off, his rebound control is weak, and his record is spotty.

That said, and to Fred's point, the D in front of him looks pretty bad right now too.

And, to be honest, this whole team looks off. There is something wrong with them, which I can't put my finger on, but which has been plaguing them for weeks.

They simply don't have the all-out attack mentality. They are getting pushed around all over the ice and, overall, seem to be a team that is swooning at the wrong time.

Whatever ails them, they need to figure it out or they could be bounced in the first round.

Imagine the Habs playing a team like the Leafs, who seem to be peaking at the right time, in round one?

Right now, my money would be on Toronto!

@Anonymous do you know how many teams would be calling if that 'sieve' were on the trading block? You want to give up on a young goalie who is tops in the league for wins? Thank God you don't have MG's ear.

Please Price, win us the first round decisively so all this garbage goes away. I believe you can.

@Kamal, agree with almost everythingyou say except for the Leafs peaking. They are winning but I can tell you they don't look great. They were dominated by Jersey and the HABS played them well but our goal tending was horrible. Of course they are still winning but all that can turn quickly...just as quickly as we can turn it around.

@sanman: Yep, the Leafs certain could come back down to Earth in a hurry. My point is simply that they are winning/peaking...but yes, there are LOTS of wholes in their game.

I just don't like the body language of the Habs as a whole lately.

Losing to the Leafs...losing to Philly, etc...

A month back, the Habs were beating the teams that should be beating/that were lower in the standings than them. That is the mark of a great/elite team...

The last few weeks they just don't seem like the same team.

And yes, there is still time for Montreal to turn things around and get back on track...but the clock is ticking!

sanman_11

Vanouver thought many teams would be after Luongo after "he" won gold in Vancouver and took his team to the Stanley Cup finals.

Not so.

Budaj beat Boston twice this season.

Price is not good under pressure. Never has been.

A few more games like these last two, nobody will want him. Again, he thinks his job is to have the pucks hit him. His real job is to make saves. There's a difference. In the playoffs, we need a goalie who can make saves.

I agree Budaj should take his place. The last two games have been extremely embarrassing. Let the Leafs of all teams score like that? The majority of leafs fans are already big time douche bags and that just adds fuel to the fire. I lost confidence in Price awhile back. Anyone else get just a little nervous when the pressure is on him?

Well you all got you wish. Budaj starts against the Pens tomorrow. From where I sit, I really don't care who is in. We just need to win.

Good article Mike, I have been saying for a long time now that Price can not cut it. He just doesn't have the mental fortitude to be great

Yah but who will they turn the goal over to? Budaj can't do it long-term. There is no one better right now in the organization.

Holy everyone has bad games, I'm not a complete Price fan but cool down. Anybody remember the goals Roy let in against Boston in the playoffs from the redline in tight stellar any shot from outside the blue line everyone was holding their breath. I GUARANTEE to all the haters and they got their wish and faded Price he will dominate the league and most notably be a HAB killer.

Yes Price has struggled at times but he played very good for the majority of games. I believe he is an untradable asset for the team - a least 15 teams would be knocking at our door were we to be so stupid as to turn our back on him. We should continue to build the team around a solid goalie. We need at least 2 big solid defencemen and at least 2 big forwards/centers. Don't forget we are still rebuilding after last years disaster.

Hello everyone. While I agree Price could be good,he has yet to prove that he is a consistent winner since arriving at the NHL level. He has faltered too many to many times for me to consider him a "Money goalie". I hope he proves me wrong, but I fear I will be right.

I love that phrase. The "Money Goalie" is a phrase I'm sure we'll hear more often thanks to this article.

I have to both agree and disagree with you Mike. I think Theodore is not what you would call a Money Goalie But I also think Price has yet to prove himself in the post season as a Money Goalie, so I agree with you there.

In time though. We need to exercise patience...something us Habs fans have little of.

Judging by tonight's performance against the Pens, no one has stepped up!!!

Yikes - another blunder of a performance tonight. Someone PLEASE step up!

And I think people need to read this article again for clarity. Mike isn't saying all of the afformentioned goalies are money goalies, he is saying they stole games for the team when they needed them too.

God knows you need a TEAM to win this day and age in the NHL but I specifically remember Theo taking the team on his back and winning games that got them into the playoffs. Didn't do so well once they got there, but anyways.

And Halak, that wasn't too long ago that we all forgot about the Halak stop signs and Halak drapped in the Christ's robes. He carried the team deep into the playoffs over Pitts and Washington.

With all of that. I agree Mike and I don't think Carey is our man to step up. Luongo anyone? Just kidding.

Does anyone wonder what Carey does in the off season? Well I know as many of you do. He lives and breaths rodeo.

My son and Carey have competed many years against one another and Carey has gone on record saying that he absolutely loves Rodeo and would do it 24/7 if he could.

His heart isn't in it like that of Roy would be. Can you build a team around him? I once thought you could.

What's everyone's opinion of a trade? Carey Price for Ryan Miller?

The Leafs will beat the Canadiens in 5.

You heard it here first.

Sorry to burst your bubble, Anonymous Leaf Troll, but I've actually heard that many times here in Toronto. Sadly, the way we've played the last 3 games, its hard to argue.

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