The Montreal Canadiens have their fingers crossed that Carey Price can find a way out of the slump he’s in. They sat him down for a few games to give him time to clear his head, and while his initial couple of starts back were nice, Price is still struggling to find a rhythm. The highest paid goaltender in the NHL is playing more like a backup in net than anything else. And this is in a season that the Canadiens have been playing well offensively.
Put an elite Carey Price in the crease and suddenly the Canadiens are looking at a potentially very successful season. They currently sport a record of 11-8-5, so I would add a few more wins on top of that if Price had been playing up to his expected level of play. He’s making the money to do that and steal games here and there, but he’s been late to the party for the Canadiens.
If anything, GM Marc Bergevin has had some of the pressure taken off him. The gamble he made for Max Domi has put him in decent standing. Signing Price to an expensive eight-year contract might be scrutinized if this continues on, though. It was kind of impossible to foresee this happening for a netminder who was a model for other goalies to follow.
With the bad there has been some good for the Habs, however. They’ve looked much better offensively and have found the back of the net at a rate higher than expected. Gone is sitting back and allowing teams to dictate the pace. They are on a four-game losing streak, so they are going to have to get back to being the aggressors. Their latest loss was a 3-2 game to the rival Boston Bruins on Saturday in Montreal. They’re home against the Bell Centre to welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to town. The Hurricanes had a three-game winning streak snapped against the Islanders in their last outing. Head below for our free Hurricanes vs. Canadiens pick.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Montreal Canadiens Pick
The Canadiens enter tonight without a win in ten days. They defeated the Canucks on November 17th, but have since regressed with four straight losses. Price didn’t play particularly bad against the Bruins. He stopped 32 shots and allowed 3 goals, but that’s not what he is getting paid to do. It would be nice if he could get some more help defensively to help with his confidence levels, but that’s been an issue as well. They have still been holding strong offensively with an average of just over 3 goals scored per game. The Hurricanes have allowed just over 3 goals per game defensively on the road.
The Canadiens get some extra good news for their blue line tonight, as Shea Weber will make his long-awaited debut on Tuesday night against the Canes. He should provide an instant boost to their defensive efforts. Price more than anyone has to be feeling relieved that Weber is making his return. However, that means Price can’t make any more excuses now.
His defence will be stronger now, so help is likely going to be here. The Hurricanes have struggled on offence on the road, with only 2.3 goals scored per game. Contrasted with the Canadiens who have totalled 3.3 goals per game at home. Also note that the Hurricanes are 2-7 in their last nine games played in Montreal. The Canadiens likely snap out of the funk they’re in and find a win over the Hurricanes on Tuesday.