I think if a vote were taken along press row at the Bell Centre, Erik Cole would be a near unanimous choice as the Canadiens Most Valuable Player this season with Carey Price and perhaps P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty in the wings.  Nobody asks those who cover the team on a nightly basis to decide these things any more, so Price becomes the winner for the third time the last four years (Jaroslav Halak was the 2010 winner) based on points accumulated in the fans three star voting over the season.  The only time this season’s monthly award did not go to Price was January (Max Pacioretty) and March (Cole).

Price has missed the last three games with a mild concussion and a suspected knee problem.

Goaltenders have won the Molson Cup fifteen of the last twenty years.

It’s a flawed system, but it is what it is.  If fans were given the opportunity to vote at the end of the season, they might come up with Cole themselves.

From the Canadiens Communications Department –

MONTREAL – Goaltender Carey Price is the Montreal Canadiens Molson Cup Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season, while forward Erik Cole is the Molson Cup recipient for the March-April segment.

Cole earned the last segment of the season (March-April), finishing ahead of Carey Price and David Desharnais. The Oswego, New York native has recorded 15 points (12 goals, 3 assists) with a +1 differential in 17 games since the beginning of the month of March. Three of his goals were scored on the powerplay.

Price was the Canadiens’ Player-of-the-Month in October, November, December, and February according to the Molson Cup standings during the regular season. Born in Anahim Lake, British Columbia, Price finished ahead of teammates Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty.

The netminder played 65 games during the regular season, for a career total of 271, ranking him ninth on the Canadiens’ all-time list for most regular season games played by a goaltender. Price posted a record of 26 wins, 28 losses and 11 overtime/shootout losses. He maintained a 2.43 goals-against-average, while blocking 1,754 of the 1,914 shots he faced for a .916 save percentage.

Price recorded four shutouts in 2011-12, for a total of 16 in his career, ranking him tied for 11th on the team’s all-time list. He currently ranks seventh in the NHL in shots against (1,914) and saves (1,754) and sixth with 3,944:06 minutes of time on ice.

The 24-year old goaltender was named the NHL First Star for the week for the period ending on November 20 (2-0-1 record, a 0.65 GAA and a .973 save percentage). Price took part in the NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa, his third participation since joining the NHL.