Only a week ago,  as part of a coach’s poll of potential individual trophy winners, TSN’s Bob McKenzie announced that Carey Price was the choice of  twelve of fifteen Eastern coaches as their Vezina Trophy nominee.  The vote took place the day after he had given up 3 goals on 4 shots in Toronto, but before he really mussed the bed against Philadelphia April 15th at the Bell Centre.  We should note here that hockey coaches don’t vote on post-season trophies, but it’s an indicator of where they thought Price’s game was at the time.

price, careyBut then was then.  A week later and Price’s game and reputation is in tatters.

His collapse has been monumental.  Among goaltenders with 20 or more starts, he has slipped to a second-rate 19th in goals-against average at 2.59 and 20th in save percentage at .905.

It’s not just his three starts since the TSN coach’s poll.  In hindsight we might be able to pinpoint the warning signs starting to manifest themselves  to a March 23rd home ice loss to Buffalo in which he let in two goals on 18 shots. (See Stats Below)  Including that game, he has appeared in 12 erratic reputation damaging games.   At a time when the Canadien were looking for a top playoff seeding, he is 4-8-0.   Over the twelve games he has a shutout, two 1-goal games.  That’s good.  But, on the other side, Price has been pulled twice, once after giving up three goals on four shots.    In another he gave up six before being yanked after two periods at home against the Flyers. He allowed ten goals in five periods against Philadelphia.  In the Pittsburgh game, he replaced Peter Budaj was gave up four more goals to take the loss.   And there were the five goals Saturday against Washington.

But the real crash has come over his last eight appearances during which he’s given up 27 goals; a 4.17 goals against average and a save percentage is .864.  Extend that to the last ten days and you discern a rapidly deteriorating pattern.   Over those last five games he’s given up 19 goals against -5.44GAA & .830 save percentage.

The easy way out for hockey critics is to pin blame for poor overall  team performances on goaltenders and the Canadiens as a group have come up with some  stinkers since they clinched their playoff berth April 11th.  But Price is a major part of the problem.    His only reasonably solid game over his last six outings was last Thursday in the 3-2 Bell Centre  win over  14th place Tampa .   Even so, he had help from two goalposts and a crossbar.

This is his worst stretch in Price’s  NHL career.  His confidence is shot and Price has three games in which to get things straightened out.  Otherwise we won’t see any improvement on his career 8-15 playoff record.

Carey Price’s Record Over His Last 13 Appearances 

 

 

DEC

GA

SA

SV

SV%

SO

PIM

TOI

EV GA

PP GA

SH GA

EN GA

APR 20 ’13 WSH @ MTL

L

5

25

20

.800

0

0

60:00

3

2

0

0

APR 18 ’13 TBL @ MTL

W

2

34

32

.941

0

0

59:47

1

1

0

0

APR 17 ’13 MTL @ PIT

L

3

20

17

.850

0

0

39:33

2

1

0

0

APR 15 ’13 PHI @ MTL

L

6

29

23

.793

0

0

39:36

4

2

0

0

APR 13 ’13 MTL @ TOR

L

3

4

1

.250

0

0

10:25

2

1

0

0

APR 9 ’13 WSH @ MTL

L

3

27

24

.889

0

0

59:17

3

0

0

0

APR 6 ’13 BOS @ MTL

W

1

27

26

.963

0

0

60:00

1

0

0

0

APR 3 ’13 MTL @ PHI

L

4

33

29

.879

0

0

59:35

4

0

0

1

APR 1 ’13 CAR @ MTL

W

1

19

18

.947

0

0

59:57

1

0

0

0

MAR 30 ’13 NYR @ MTL

W

0

34

34

1.000

1

0

60:00

0

0

0

0

MAR 27 ’13 MTL @ BOS

4

26

22

.846

0

0

39:58

3

1

0

0

MAR 26 ’13 MTL @ PIT

L

1

25

24

.960

0

0

59:04

1

0

0

0

MAR 23 ’13 BUF @ MTL

L

2

18

16

.889

0

0

58:37

1

1

0

0

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