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Carey Price faces greatest pressure yet next season

Jul 16, 2012, 6:32 PM EST

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After braving the challenge of easing the loss of playoff hero Jaroslav Halak, Carey Price now must justify his massive six-year, $39 million contract. That’s a lot for any goalie in any town to stomach, but Price will face even more heat since he’s the No. 1 goalie for the Montreal Canadiens. So he can he handle that pressure?

There are pros and cons to Price’s situation that make it a fascinating question.

On the bright side, Price finished 2011-12 strong. After a dicey first three months, Price had fabulous individual numbers once 2012 began. He’ll likely benefit from a stable franchise environment after last season’s fractured behind-the-scenes mess. It’s also helpful to have a defensive taskmaster like Michel Therrien behind the bench considering the fact that his best moments came when Jacques Martin was in charge – and not on the verge of being fired.

The bad news is that while the suits were altered drastically this summer, the guys wearing the Habs sweaters are largely the same. If last season was the simple result of a weak roster and not a fluke/manifestation of deep organizational dysfunction, it could be another long season for the few “elites” on the team. Price will carry the heaviest load of them all if that’s the case.

Price went fifth overall in 2005 and did usurp Halak in the former front office’s minds, so it’s not like he hasn’t shouldered a heavy burden before. Still, he might need to evoke Patrick Roy – as many locals seemingly hope any top goalie will – to brave the 2012-13 season and give the Habs a chance to be a surprise contender.

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  1. cmonmanzz - Jul 16, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I hope Carey can break out next season, after a pretty average year in 2011-12. This time around, let’s just not make him play 70 games!

  2. anarchist9027 - Jul 16, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    The way price has played last year, i can see Reimer from the Leafs having a better season than him

  3. nygdriveforfive - Jul 16, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Price did not have that bad of a year. He was the best player most nights on a bad Habs team. He has proven himself to be a top 5 goalie in the league.

  4. blomfeld - Jul 17, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    LET’S GET DOWN TO BRASS TACKS THEN, SHALL WE ?

    Right now, the top three goaltenders in the NHL are as follows:

    1) Jonathan Quick

    2) Cory Schneider

    3) Carey Price

    and the top three parasitic “has been” goaltenders in the NHL are as follows:

    1) Roberto Luongo

    2) Mikka Kiprusoff

    3) Ilya Bryzgalov

  5. freneticgarfieldfan - Jul 17, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    “2) Cory Schneider” – wow, that’s a bold statement for a guy with some 68 games played. He might become an excellent goaltender, or he might not. Time will tell. Just to mention him now already as the next to best in the game… just wow

    • creasemasta41 - Jul 17, 2012 at 2:28 AM

      Watching him though you cant help but get the feeling he could be the next big thing. Has all the requirements and most of all has a level head and a high hockey IQ. He’s actually the only guy on the canucks i like. Hopefully he can become the next big thing

    • drewsylvania - Jul 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      Agreed. Wherever Schneider belongs, Rask should be ahead of him or at least abreast of him.

  6. drunkbro - Jul 17, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    imagine how many games the habs would have won if an average goalie was in net last season? yes there is pressure because of his new contract, but the pressure is really on management and the coaching staff. price can only bail out the guys playing in front of him so often when hes left hung out to dry

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