Guy Carbonneau sees what a lot of people see when they look at Montreal’s current roster.
For Carbonneau, who coached the Canadiens from 2006-09, the roster shortcomings are actually quite familiar.
“You see the same thing we’ve seen over the last 10 years, which is no No. 1 center, no No. 1 right-winger,” he told the Montreal Gazette. “And that’s not to disrespect the guys that they have there. But we keep talking about this, we keep mentioning it. When you don’t have that and you lose your best player and probably the best player in the NHL (Carey Price) for a long period of time.”
Though some may take issue with the assertion that Brendan Gallagher is not a “No. 1 right-winger,” Carbonneau is certainly not the first to argue that the Habs lack an elite center. It’s why Alex Galchenyuk‘s development has been so closely watched since he was drafted in 2012. It’s why people wonder if Steven Stamkos might sign with with the Canadiens this summer.
In addition to pointing out the flaws up front, Carbonneau also took GM Marc Bergevin to task for not having a more capable backup for Price.
“If they expected Mike Condon to replace Carey Price they were mistaken,” he said. “I don’t know who made that decision, but there was something wrong.”
Not that many, if any, goalies could truly “replace” Price, but remember that Condon had never played an NHL game prior to this season. Though the undrafted 25-year-0ld has fared OK at times, his .904 save percentage is the lowest of the 26 netminders with at least 25 starts. And Ben Scrivens hasn’t been the answer either.
The Canadiens went into the All-Star break losing back-to-back games to Columbus. They’re back in action Tuesday in Philadelphia. After that, they have three home games against teams not currently in a playoff position: Buffalo, Edmonton, and Carolina.