The Montreal Canadiens have one of the best goalies in the NHL in Carey Price, but there’s no denying his struggles over the last few weeks.
Since a Dec. 22 home loss to the Minnesota Wild, Price has give up three goals or more in six of his last seven outings.
Last night’s 7-1 loss to the Wild wasn’t only on Montreal’s star goaltender. They were bad from top to bottom, but that’s hardly shocking when you consider it was their third game in four nights, while Minnesota had been off since Sunday’s win in Anaheim.
With the Wild nursing a 4-0 lead after two periods, many people wondered whether or not Price would be pulled in favor of Al Montoya for the start of the third frame.
But pulling him is easier said than done.
As you may remember, the 29-year-old gave Michel Therrien the ultimate glare when he was yanked from a home game against San Jose, after he allowed four goals on 18 shots back on Dec. 16.
This time, the Canadiens coaching staff had a chat with Price during the second intermission, and he let them know that he wasn’t interested in coming out of the game.
“I’d rather just stick it out,” he said, per the Montreal Gazette. “Nobody else has the opportunity to get pulled from a game.”
Pulling or not pulling goalies also became a hot topic in Montreal in the hours and days after a 10-0 shellacking at the hands of the Blue Jackets earlier this season.
In that one, backup goalie Al Montoya was left in for each of Columbus’ 10 goals. Therrien never gave him the option to come out of the game because there was no point in putting their starter into a game they had no chance of winning.
Montoya might not have had the option to decide whether he wanted to keep playing or not, but Price certainly did last night.
“(Goaltending coach) Stéphane Waite went to talk to him after the second period and we discussed it with the coaching staff,” said Therrien. “Carey wanted to stay in there and I respect that decision and even more I appreciated the fact that he wanted to stay in there. It was a tough night and we’re all in this together and we’re all suffering as a team, It’s that simple.”
We’ll see if he and the team can get back on the rails in a home date with the Rangers on Saturday night.