The good news is that Carey Price is coming off a season for the ages. The bad news is that the Montreal Canadiens are basically asking him to do it again.
Let’s make no mistake about it; Price was the reason why Montreal won its division and made it to the second round in 2014-15.
Price wasn’t just great in 2014-15; he was heads and shoulders above everyone else, winning the Hart, Vezina, Lindsay and Jennings Trophies. To make an understatement, he’d be hard-pressed to top 44 wins and a .933 save percentage next season.
P.K. Subban seems to understand that it’s not the kind of season that’s easily replicated.
“If we expect him to play the way he’s played this year every year, it’s unfair,” Subban said following their playoff exit, according to NHL.com “There’s going to be ups and downs, and it’s tough to be at that level every single game. He’s managed to do it this year, but we have to realize our job is to make his job easier, not to make it more difficult.”
Montreal didn’t really do much to boost its offense this summer, so any improvement would have to come from within … or they’ll need Price to pull a rabbit out of a hat once more.
Let’s not forget, either, that being the goalie in Montreal is an inherently pressure-packed job. It’s something Price acknowledged to ESPN way back in 2009.
“It’s impossible not to notice,” Price says. “I’ve gotten used to it, but every day, they’re there.”
And now “they” expect an encore performance.