There were a lot of early-season discussions around the play of Carey Price, with his games leaving fans perhaps wanting a little bit more from the 84-million-dollar man. In his last six starts, Price has turned that narrative on its head, stealing points and giving his teammates every possible chance to win.
In those starts he has posted save percentages of .970, .923, .840, .930, .939, and .943. The one standout is the .840, a key win over the Boston Bruins where the Montreal Canadiens struggled after the opening minutes, but Price shut the door in key moments.
In his most recent win on Tuesday night, Price was in fine form, needing expertly placed shots like Zach Werenski’s to best him.
With the team in fornt of him getting the game to beyond regulation, in overtime and in the shootout Price was locked in. Even with tired penalty-killers in front of him in the extra frame he calmly gloved down prime scoring chances without flinching. He stopped all three shootout attempts (with some help from his post), and just could not be denied a second point, putting the proverbial force field up in net.
This isn’t a new trend for Price, and in the early stages of this season (despite some early issues) is one of the NHL’s best at denying goals.
Facing down a heavier workload (shots against), Price is well above average at preventing goals against; nearly five goals saved above what an average netminder would have allowed to this point.
While these do not include the win over Columbus, the trend is clear: there are a lot of high-danger chances coming from the slot in front of Price, and he is performing well above expectation to deny them.
It’s early in the year, but the Carey Price we are seeing of late is looking a lot like the one who dragged Montreal back into post-season contention last season. With him stealing points early in the season now, the Canadiens are still set up for success as the season trudges on.