The Montreal Canadiens will go with Carey Price in goal tonight in hopes of resuscitating their playoff hopes. The Habs are down 2-1 in their series with the Washington Capitals, and that is in large part due to losing the goaltending battle in games 2 and 3. Halak, who has surrendered 9 goals in his last 90 minutes of play, looks rattled and tired.
One could have made a case that because Halak was the better goalie all year, he deserves to take his place in between the pipes and has earned a shot at redemption. To that, I say “with all due respect, you’re wrong.”
The Capitals score a ton of goals on direct shots (evidence: John Carlson game tying goal in game 2, Backstrom game winner in game 2), and Carey Price is a bigger goalie who can fill the net better than Halak can. It has also been obvious that Washington’s game plan is to drive the net hard, and again, I trust a bigger goalie when that’s the case. You could also thrown in the argument that Price is more capable of taking a team on his back (like in the World Juniors and in the AHL playoffs when he was a rookie) and while Halak is more consistent, Price, at his best, is a superstar.
Having said all of that, that’s not the main reason why I feel that this is the right decision. The Canadiens are entering a very important offseason with 2 goalies that are #1s, and both are restricted free agents. They need to see both in the playoffs to be able to make an informed decision about their value cap-wise. Not that one game will be the deciding factor, but, especially with goalies, you need to see how they handle pressure and how they perform in the playoffs. If Carey Price wasn’t named the starter tonight, I don’t know how they could realistically determine how valuable he is to their team.
This will be the ultimate test for him. His team is behind 2-1, they haven’t gotten good goaltending, they are on home ice in a must win situation, the Capitals are the #1 team in the league and in addition to that, Carey Price has had a season filled with ups and downs.
The script writes itself….I wonder who’s going to play him in the movie.
GO HABS GO!
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.