March 21, 2008
I take a look around at some recent NHL Award predictions and fail to see any mention of Montreal's Carey Price in the Calder Trophy running.
Not even the poll I'm running on the right-hand side of the page.
Sure, Patrick Kane, Nicklas Backstrom, Peter Mueller, and Jonathan Toews have had very good years and should all be mentioned, but why isn't Price's name along side of those skaters? Is it because the rest of the rookie goalie crop is weak? Does history have anything to do with it? Since the 1932-33 season when the NHL began handing out the Calder Trophy, only 15 have been won by goalies. Granted, rookie skaters normally receive more ice time than rookie goaltenders, but what Price has done this season should not be overlooked so easy.
Since general manager Bob Gainey traded away Cristobal Huet at the deadline and thrusted Price into the number one goalie position, the rookie netminder is 6-3, and his Habs sit atop the Eastern Conference right now. Just think of the pressure that has put on this 20 year-old from Vancouver. He has the ghosts of Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden watching his every save. Two Hall of Famer's that lead Montreal to Stanley Cup victories in their rookie seasons. It's not going to be easy for the kid and it hasn't since he was drafted 5th overall in 2005, but he's held his own.
After guiding Canada to a World Junior Championship in 2007, Price finished his season of junior hockey at Tri-City and was assigned to Montreal's American Hockey League club, the Hamilton Bulldogs. His first start in the minors was late in the season. From there, Price grabbed the number one job and lead the Bulldogs to a Calder Cup title, which included a Game One shutout in the finals and playoff MVP honors.
It's apparent by his past history that pressure is not a worry for Price. Whatever the stage, he is going to deliver and whether it's the pressure of being a rookie goaltender in Montreal or the pressure that comes with playing in Montreal to begin with, Carey Price is a gamer and more than likely will lead the Canadiens to a deep playoff run this spring.