One of the more disappointing aspects of the way the season ended for the Montreal Canadiens was the complete meltdown of Carey Price, towards the end of the regular season and into the playoffs, when the second seeded Habs were bounced in the first round.
Obviously, there are going to be quite a few disappointments when your season ends the way it did for the Habs. They were one of the league’s best clubs all year, but melted down, both physically and mentally, before being knocked out of the playoffs in five games by the no. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.
It’s hard to say that Price alone would have made the difference, but having him mentally and physically sharp certainly would have helped. He finished the brief postseason appearing in only four games before an injury forced him to sit for the last one, posting an extremely disappointing .894 save percentage and a goals against average of 3.26.
It was a continuation of the way the regular season ended for Price, as he was pulled a couple of times in the final month of the season, including one outing in which he allowed three goals on only four shots. Heading into the new season, though, things could be looking up for Carey Price.
First off, he’ll be healthy. Coming back in with a fresh start and being at 100 percent should be good for him right off the bat. But on top of that, the presence of Stephane Waite will make a tremendous difference for a guy who’s gone through several goaltending coaches in the past few years.
Waite left his old post in Chicago to join the Habs, and he has a pretty good track record. He’s taken unknown quantities, in Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford, to Stanley Cup glory, doing wonders with each of them. Hard to imagine he couldn’t make the difference for a top tier talent like Price.
This might finally be the answer for Price to put it together in 2013-14. He’s shown flashes of earning that elite contract, but hasn’t put it together for a full season yet. Waite could be the difference for him in net, and things should look up for the Habs netminder in 2013-14.