Montreal beat writer Pat Hickey dropped a bombshell on his post-game vlog when he declared his full belief that a Carey Price is possibly right on the horizon. Next week in fact was his exact prediction, either Tuesday in Montreal, or Wednesday in Buffalo. This is not a statement made lightly given the pace of the rehabilitation.
Carey Price has been out of the Canadiens line-up since November 26th, and his recovery has appeared at times agonizingly slow. For months he was paraded out in front of the ever-present cameras in Brossard, skating in circles in his track suit. It appeared to be part rehabilitation and part marketing, attempting to give the illusion of hope while the team's playoff chances dwindled away.
There were calls for the Canadiens to shut Price down for the season in order to avoid a repeat of the scenario from earlier in the season where he returned too soon from injury and re-aggravated the knee, despite Price himself denying that was the case. Generally there was a shroud of secrecy around the whole situation, and information was very carefully dolled out in small amounts, which led to massive amounts of speculation.
Then, one day Price emerged in Brossard in full goalie gear and took his place in front of the net, practicing lateral movements, obviously testing his injured knee. Hope began to appear once again, but many wondered whether Price would return this season, or whether he was simply trying to gain medical clearance in order to participate in the World Cup of Hockey.
And so it appears as though we will see Carey Price back behind the net for the Montreal Canadiens as the season draws to a close.