Iced Up Youngsters: Carey Price

Carey Priceis 21 years old, already a 3 year veteran, and is officially the future of the winningest franchise in NHL history. He’s been hyped up, forgotten, and is now back in the spotlight. Is he the goalie that the Montreal Canadiens have been waiting for, the true heir to St. Patrick, the one that will lead them to their first Stanley Cup since 1993?

Career Stats (W-L-OTL)

  • 2007-2008: 24-12-3, 2.56 GAA, .920 SV%, 3 SO
  • 2008-2009: 23-16-10, 2.83 GAA, .905 SV%,  1 SO
  • 2009-2010: 13-20-5, 2.77 GAA, .912 SV%, 0 SO

Looks like a downward trend in everything. With the expectations Careyhad coming into the NHL, he has severely underachieved. A stellar rookie year has lead to nothing is his next two seasons. Can he recover?

Profile: Carey’s international bio is short, but accomplished. As the starting netminder for Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championships, he backstopped the team to a gold medal. He wasn’t just another good player on a deep team. He went 6-0, had 2 shutouts, was named to the all-star team and most importantly, won Tournament MVP.  Not bad, right?  He continued to excel once he made it to the NHL.  He won the starting job in his first season over Christobal Huet and Jaroslav Halak. But in the playoffs, things unraveled. In a second round match-up against the Philadelphia Flyers, his weak glove hand was exposed, and his team crushed in 5 games. Season two was far less impressive, with Carey falling back to Earth, partially due to injury. Montreal was swept out of the playoffs, and things started to look bleak. By season three, he’d pretty much lost his job to Halak.  He was forgotten, especially once the playoffs rolled around. Halak was getting praise for leading the Habs past favorites Washington and Pittsburgh, while Price rode the pine. He got some playing time in 4 games, but wasn’t much of a factor. After another 5 game loss to Philadelphia ended Montreal’s season, there were whispers that Price was on the trading block. The rumors proved top be false, as Halak was traded to St. Louis. So here we are, summer of 2010, and Carey Price is once again the hope and future of the Montreal Canadiens.

What makes him special?: His trophy case is full of awards from Juniors and minor league hockey. Youngest this, most valuable that… Carey Price has been a star at every level. But with him, it’s not just about technique, it’s about pure instinct. He’s big, and he’s fast. He’s also acrobatic, and ballsy. He’ll whack people with his stick, and he’ll come out to play the puck. His biggest flaw, for now, is his glove hand. And sharpshooters love making goalies look bad but rifling the puck glove-side. He’s also got pretty good net awareness; when he’s caught out of position, he seems to know the perfect timing to throw out an arm, leg or stick and make a ridiculous save when the shooter thinks he’s got an empty net. But if he’s going to live up to the hype, and be more than a flash in the pan, he’ll have to fix that weak glove, and not let his emotions get the best of him. Many goalies’ careers die because they get too riled up when teams crash the net. He’s shown those flaws so far, but I think he’s got the chance to get over all of that.

Jersey Worthy?: This is a tough one. We know that by trading away Halak, Montreal has put all of their eggs in the Price basket. I think this means at least a 2 year commitment, unless he completely falls apart. I think with Carey I’d wait until halfway through this season to make a final decision.

Hate factor:He’s a goalie, can’t really hate them too much. A few whack’s to someone’s legs when they’re parked in front? Too bad. That’s his territory, he can guard it however he wants. I think the only people with a reason to hate him will be Montreal fans if he starts letting in a ton of goals. The fans and media can be pretty critical up there, so he’d better play well, or else his rep. will be destroyed.

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Tags: Carey Price Christobal Huet Jaroslav Halak Montreal Canadiens NHL Patrick Roy Pittsburgh Penguins St. Patrick St.Louis Blues Team Canada Washington Capitals

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