‘Carey Price was Carey Price’ in Habs preseason finale


It’s a question for at least a few Montreal Canadiens fans heading into 2016-17: will Carey Price be, well, Carey Price next season?

The question comes up because Price was on top of the goaltending world in 2014-15, only to see injuries derail last season. With a turbulent offseason behind the Habs, it would be a rather large problem if Price struggled to regain his footing (even if it would be understandable, all things considered).

Now, it’s dangerous to put too much weight in preseason results – quick, name your team’s record from the 2014 preseason from memory – but Montreal had to be happy about the way things closed out on Thursday.

They clobbered the rival Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1, with plenty of important names rising to the occasion.

Including the most important one.

“I just kept looking back [and thought], ‘Well, welcome back,'” Nathan Beaulieu said, according to NHL.com. “It’s nice to see he didn’t really miss a beat. Carey Price was Carey Price tonight.”

Price backed up that optimism, saying “I feel like I’ve prepared well enough for the season to start.”

(You almost get the impression that such a decisive win leaves Montreal feeling anxious with a week between this preseason finale and the 2016-17 season-opener against the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 13.)

The icing on the cake for Montreal is that other noteworthy players, particularly some new faces, enjoyed strong moments last night.

Most obviously, Shea Weber scored a goal in his debut for the Canadiens:

That wasn’t all. Andrew Shaw scored two goals and Alex Radulov combined with Alex Galchenyuk for this eyebrow-raiser:

Auston Matthews also had his great moments, scoring Toronto’s only goal and making some splendid moves. Also, William Nylander might have made himself an enemy:

So it wasn’t perfect in a literal sense for the Canadiens, especially with Jeff Petry leaving the game thanks to an injury.

Still, it was pretty close, as it’s tough to beat Carey Price being Carey Price.