Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price got off to a great start this year, but he struggled as the season went on. Overall, he failed to live up to expectations with his 2.59 GAA and .905 save percentage in 39 games.
That’s disappointing for Montreal, but former Canadiens goaltending coach Roland Melanson thinks it’s actually part of a much bigger problem.
“Carey hasn’t stopped deteriorating since I left. He’s all over the place now,” said Melanson told NHL.com. “At some point, there has to be some accountability in the school yard. The position requires a lot of work and Carey hasn’t been consistent. He let things slide in practice and it caught up to him during games.”
Melanson left in 2009 and Price initially did fantastically without him. The Canadiens netminder posted a 2.35 GAA and .923 save percentage in 72 games in 2010-11 after being inconsistent in his previous three seasons. Price was also solid in 2011-12, although his numbers did decline.
Melanson has since become the Vancouver Canucks’ goaltending coach while his replacement in Montreal, Pierre Groulx, was recently fired. Melanson seems to approve of Montreal’s decision.
“He wanted to be his friend. A goalie doesn’t want you to be his friend — he wants results. You’re not there to be his friend.”
It’s worth adding that Melanson also said Groulx was doing an “outstanding job” with Price just four months ago, according to the Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs.
Price will celebrate his 26th birthday in August as he gets ready to enter the second season of his six-year, $39 million deal in 2013-14.