Alessandro De Luca
A February to forget for Carey Price
An in depth look at the star goalie's struggling stats this season.
This past month has been difficult for Montreal Canadiens star goaltender Carey Price, who has allowed 14 goals in his last three starts. These struggles are clearly influencing the team, who have won just three of their 12 games in February.
Price currently has a 3.13 GAA and a .888 SV% in 12 games played, which are some of the worst stats among NHL goalies, despite being the highest-paid goalie in the league, making 10.5 million per season.
Let’s take a look at other players making that kind of money. Connor McDavid, Patrick Kane, Auston Matthews. These are all guys who steal games for their teams. Carey Price should be and can be one of those guys. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been throughout the entire season. Yes, it is easy to point fingers at the team, who have been playing below their level (Phillip Danault is still yet to register a goal), but when you’re among the top names in the NHL, you need to steal games, regardless of how bad the team has been playing.
Questions have been arising as to what is causing this drop in Price’s numbers. “I think maybe I’m over-thinking things” said the former Vezina winner, who kept things very brief in the press conference following Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Price’s backup goalie Jake Allen currently sits at a 2.12 GAA and a .929SV% in nine games played. Significantly better than Price’s numbers, despite making less than half his salary. These stats have prompted many fans to demand that Allen be the starter for the next few games, allowing Price to rest, while others blame his disappointing stats on rest.
In the past few years, Price hasn’t had a very reliable backup goalie. Last year, GM Marc Bergevin attempted to give Price a small break by signing backup goalie Keith Kinkaid to a one-year deal. That signing failed, as Kinkaid put up disappointing numbers and only registered one win in six games. This prompted Kinkaid to be sent down to the minors, resulting in various of the Habs AHL affiliate goalies to take turns filling the backup spot. Because of this, Price ended up playing most of the season, still managing to record a 2.79 GAA and a .918 SV%. Not spectacular, but considering that he barely had any rest, these numbers are impressive.
This season, Carey has a more-than-qualified backup in Jake Allen, who was a bonified starter in St-Louis just a few years ago. With Price now sharing half the games, his stats have dropped. Are they related? You decide.
Carey Price is still considered by many to be one of the best goalies in the NHL. Having him on your team means that he needs to be the difference-maker every night, especially with the money that he is making. The stats don’t lie. Allen has been the better goalie this season thus far, and Price needs to regain at least a little bit of his former self if he wants to keep his starting goalie position on this team.