For nine games already this season, the Montreal Canadiens already missed the services of top goalie Carey Price.
Now, they have to deal with the situation without him a little longer. It was announced by the Canadiens last Monday that Price will be out for at least six weeks due to a lower body injury he suffered during their 5-1 victory in New York over the Rangers last week. No surgery is required but the amount of time he will be out will definitely affect the team’s run.
“He’s a big part of our team,” said P.K Subban, star defenseman. “If we think we’re going to get any sympathy from the teams we’re going to play in the next six weeks, that’s definitely not gonna happen.”
Last year’s Hart and Vezina Trophy winner is expected to miss at least 16 games. If he heals quickly, he’ll be all set to return in time for the Winter Classic outdoor game on New Year’s Day at Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Though they have one man down, this made the team members pull up their socks and be a little better as they have to deal with Price’s absence.
The injury enabled first-year backup Mike Condon to assume the starting position. He went 5-2-2 when Price was out for almost a month.
Price returned for two games, both of which they won. He also played the first 40 minutes in New York before injuring himself again.
Condon took the third period, but the Canadiens eventually lost in overtime.
“I’m a lot more comfortable,” he said.
“I’ve had 14 appearances so far, so every time you go out there, it gets a little more familiar and easier.”
General Manager Marc Bergevin said, they will not go shopping for another goaltender just yet as they still want to keep the team intact.
“We have Mike and Ticket (Tokarski). I was at (an AHL game) and Zach Fucale played really well. That’s why you have many goalies in your system. Now, if we lose three goalies, that’s a different story.”
When Price suited up from his previous injury, his teammates expressed how they kept winning and proved their winning ways are not dependent on their star goalie.
If last season, losing Price would have been costly for a team that gave up too many shots and scoring chances, this season’s team plays are stronger and all-around.
“It’s a unique situation because Price is our leader,” defenseman Nathan Beaulieu said. “We almost owe it to him to continue playing and not moan about him not being there.”
The Montreal team are also missing first-line right wing Brandan Gallagher and center Torrey Mitchell to various injuries.