Canadiens goalie record-setting win is another accomplishment in great career
I remember the first time I watched Carey Price on TV; Canada was playing the United States at the 2007 World Junior Championships, and the semi-final game went to a shootout. The shootout lasted seven rounds but Price made three huge saves, including the last on Peter Mueller, to send Canada to the final, which they won. I remember thinking, “Wow, this guy is a Montreal Canadiens prospect.”
Fast forward 12 years, and Price is more than just a Montreal Canadiens player. On March 5, he tied Jacques Plante for most wins in franchise history, with 314. In a franchise that’s been around for 110 years, with its many legends and all-time greats, Price is now number one for wins.
Although Price has often been criticized, Canadiens fans of this generation are so lucky to have him. I don’t think we truly appreciate just how good Price is.
With a career 314-220-67 record, Price also has a career .918 save percentage and 2.47 goals-against average (GAA). Since becoming the Canadiens’s full-time starter in 2010-11, he’s only had two seasons with a GAA higher than 2.50: 2.59 in 2012-13, when he played 39 games, and 3.11 last season when the Canadiens finished third to last in the league.
We definitely can’t forget about Price’s 44-win 2014-15 season, in which he had a career-best 1.96 GAA, which is just mind-blowing. It’s a no-brainer that he won the Hart Trophy as the league’s best player that year.
There is one thing missing from Price’s trophy cabinet, and that’s a Stanley Cup. Pessimistic fans will be quick to criticize Price’s career with the Canadiens for this reason, since Plante and Ken Dryden won six, while Patrick Roy won two with the Habs and two more with the Colorado Avalanche.
However, these Hall of Fame goalies had Hall of Fame players in front of them. Price doesn’t, except for a potential Hall of Famer in Shea Weber—who’s only been with the Habs since 2016. Plante played on the 1950s dynasty team, which included 12 Hall of Fame members from Jean Beliveau to Maurice Richard. Dryden’s team in the 1970s had 11 members in the Hall of Fame.
It’s a shame Price couldn’t have played on better Canadiens teams. They came close in 2014, as he carried them to the Conference Final before getting injured. This season, he’s helped carry the Habs past expectations as they continue to fight for a spot in the playoffs. We can only hope this young team will improve and Carey Price will finally win his Stanley Cup.