No, I'm not talking about the show hosted by Bob Barker, I'm talking about Montreal Canadiens starting goaltender Carey Price. The Canadiens had a dilemma on who would be the number one goaltender coming into this year, playoff hero Jaraslav Halak, or the golden boy Carey Price. Price rode the pine for all but four playoff games in the teams incredible run to the Eastern Conference Final and producing only one decision, a loss, while only playing in 41 regular season contests. He was upset with the Canadiens for not giving him the full starters role, but the Habs brass wasn't too pleased with him for not posting the results they demand of their goalies (although, it must be pretty hard to follow the likes of Plante, Vezina, Dryden and Roy).
Drafted in the first round of the 2005 draft (5th overall), there were high expectations for the young man. He wouldn't make his NHL debut until 2007, when he played 41 games. In the two years of juniors after he was drafted he posted just solid numbers in the WHL. So far his rookie numbers are the best he's ever put up in the NHL and that's why fans have started to express their displeasure at the young keeper. There have been multiple times in his short career with the Canadiens that the fans at the Bell Centre have not been pleased by his play and have even booed him on some occasions.
[caption id="attachment_412" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Carey Price is finally living up to expectations this year"][/caption]
Price seems to be determined to shut them up this year, or at least change them to cheers. He's done an incredible job of that as fans on many occasions stood up and gave their netminder an ovation in his 3-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers last night. Through seventeen games this year, Price is putting up the best numbers of his career. So far he boasts a .930 save percentage (good for 6th in the NHL), a 2.05 goals against average (6th, again) and 3 shutouts (2nd). Price is proving to be an elite goaltender in this league and the Habs couldn't be happier, and the best part is he's only just begun (get the Happy Gilmore connection?). If he can continue to play the way he has started the season (playing 17 of 18 games, winning 11 of them, and not allowing a goal in 3 of them) then he is on his way back to being the most loved person in Montreal, but he should keep in mind that he can become the most hated again in an instant.