With the way the Montreal Canadiens are playing, and the way Carey Price is playing, national media is finally waking up to his candidacy for the Hart Trophy. With Sidney Crosby having a down season, there's an opening for the most valuable player in the NHL, and Carey Price's .933 save percentage on a team that allows the sixth most scoring chances in the league is standing out above all others.
We can simplify Price's statistics this season to encapsulate how important he has been, using the criteria developed by Gabe Desjardins at Behind The Net. Essentially, every three goals above replacement a player provides, is equivalent to supplying one win for his team.
The average goaltender in the NHL this season has a .912 save percentage, if you were to put an average goaltender on the Canadiens, and have him face the same number of shots as Price (1180), they would have allowed 104 goals to this point in the season. Price on the other hand, has allowed just 79 goals.
That means that Carey Price is 25 goals above league average, which would account for 8.3 wins in the standings, which we'll just round to 8.5. This change would bring the Habs' record from 32-13-3 to 24-22-2. That would mean 50 points through 48 games, as many losses as wins, and 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
And this is a rough estimation. Because the Canadiens allow significantly more scoring chances against than the average team an average goaltender would, in all likelihood, have a below average save percentage. Not to mention Price's puck handling ability allowing for breakouts up the ice, increasing offensive opportunities.
Price is, in no uncertain terms, the most valuable player in the National Hockey League.