As valiant as Dustin Tokarski’s efforts were against the New York Rangers, the Montreal Canadiens still faced the stark reality of life without Carey Price during the 2014 postseason. Considering the fact that his knee issues kept him from skating for most of the summer, it’s fantastic news that the goalie believes he’ll be good to go, as TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports:
That’s definitely what the Habs want to hear, yet they might want to be cautious with Price during training camp and the preseason.
Beyond keeping the 27-year-old’s health in mind, they could also get an extended glance at Peter Budaj (still under contract at $1.4 million) and Tokarski (who possesses a club-friendly deal that goes from two-way in 2014-15 to one-way in 2015-16).
While Budaj, 31, didn’t exactly get the vote of confidence by sitting after Price was injured, there’s still some question regarding whether or not Tokarski’s style can hold up to extended scrutiny at the NHL level. The 24-year-old made some dazzling saves against the Rangers, yet his aggressiveness also opens the door to goals that might not happen with more cookie cutter techniques (see: Roberto Luongo’s memorable original criticisms of Tim Thomas).
There’s no such doubt about Price’s viability, of course. He’s coming off a brilliant season in which he won a gold medal with Team Canada and generated a career-best .927 save percentage alongside a great 34-20-5 record.