It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Carey Price has sizzled since being promoted last week to the Canadiens’ No. 1 netminding job.
John Mahoney, Gazette
Carey Price awoke last Tuesday as the Canadiens’ backup goaltender, having started 15 fewer games this season than Cristobal Huet, the veteran with whom he was sharing the netminding duties.
By noon, he was the Canadiens’ undisputed No. 1 goalie, Huet gone to the Washington Capitals on the NHL’s trade-deadline day in a deal that caught Price, and most everyone else, by complete surprise.
That night, Price made 26 saves to lead the Canadiens over the Atlanta Thrashers and snap the team’s two-game losing streak. On Friday, he made 31 stops to beat the Sabres in Buffalo; the next night back in Montreal, 31 saves to defeat the New Jersey Devils.
His stats are tremendous: through this three-game win streak, the 20-year-old from Williams Lake, B.C., has a goals-against average of 1.33 and a sizzling save percentage of .956.
And none of the above, as Price leads his club into a four-game road trip this week, is the least bit unusual for a rookie goalie whose entire young career hasn’t been lived by the book of tradition.