by Patrick Hoffman on 01/28/10 at 01:53 PM ET
From the NHL on TSN panel at TSN.ca:
“You really get the sense that the Montreal Canadiens coaching staff and management really wants Carey Price to be ‘the man,’ said Keith Jones.
While Price was stellar in his rookie season, his statistics have taken a hit over the past two years. Rumours have also swirled about his conduct off the ice in the hockey-mad city of Montreal, leaving the Canadiens with a very delicate situation on their hands. TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie believes that the team itself is at least partly to blame for the situation.
“If there has been a criticism of how the Canadiens have handled their goaltenders, it is that they simply won’t give the job to Halak and leave Price on the bench for a little while,” said McKenzie. “Every time that Halak has lost a game this year, he’s never gotten a start again in the following game.”
While Halak has unquestionably been the better of the two netminders of late, there are several cases for keeping Price. For one, the 22-year old is two years younger than Halak. Also, Price’s pedigree is substantially more impressive. He was a first-round draft pick by Montreal (fifth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft) and was named the CHL’s goaltender of the year in 2007. That same year he backstopped Canada to gold at the IIHF World Junior hockey championship. In addition he was won the Jack Butterfield Trophy as the AHL’s playoff MVP when the Hamilton Bulldogs captured the Calder Cup in 2007. The following season he was named to the NHL’s all-rookie team and started the All-Star game last season in Montreal.
Click here for more on the Habs’ goaltending situation.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
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