There's no two ways about it, Carey Price is in the midst of producing one of the best season in NHL history. At the moment, there's no one who poses a threat among all active goaltenders, which means we have to compare his numbers to the best seasons in NHL history to get a better perspective of how spectacular he's been during the 2014-15 campaign.
I limited the results to goalies that played more than 50 games in a season, so as to weed out the hot streaks. Once that's done, there are only two other netminders that are worthy of comparison; Tim Thomas and Dominik Hasek.
As you can see, the numbers are all very similar, however Hasek's 97-98 season stands out as one of the most extraordinary of the bunch, seeing as how he faced a ridiculous quantity of shots against.
Thomas' seasons were great, although his goals saved above-average aren't nearing the remarkable levels set by Hasek. Price is behind Hasek in most categories, but he should be afforded another seven or eight starts to improve his numbers. Right now, Price is sporting the best save percentage in league history, which is an impressive accomplishment on its own. He also currently holds the record for goals against average, however meaningless those numbers tend to be.
|Carey Price (14-15)||59||.938||40.42||1.86||73||1763||29.39||9||15.5||3543|
|Tim Thomas (10-11)||57||.938||45.77||2.00||71||1811||30.18||9||16.2||3364|
|Dominik Hasek (98-99)||64||.937||54.08||1.87||69||1877||31.28||9||16.8||3817|
|Tim Thomas (08-09)||54||.933||41.02||2.10||74||1694||28.23||5||14.7||3259|
|Dominik Hasek (97-98)||72||.932||54.49||2.09||73||2149||35.82||13||18.6||4220|
The first thing that pops up when you research the numbers, are the awards that generally come along with putting up these types of seasons. The Vézina Trophy should be a given, seeing as how all four seasons posted above resulted in the trophy making its way home with either Thomas or Hasek.
As it stands, Price also has the inside track when it comes to the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goaltender that allows the fewest goals against for his team during the regular season. The Rangers are a threat, having allowed only 161 goals against compared to Montreal's 159, however the Rangers have played three fewer games than the Canadiens. As for the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award, the voters should have a hard time putting him in any other position than first. That being said, there are no guarantees that Price will take home four individual awards this season, but the fact remains that he should be in the mix when it comes to the league's top honours.
On a team that has featured such amazing goaltenders as Jacques Plante, Bill Durnan, Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden, Carey Price is set to smash all the modern single season records.
In fact, he's in the midst of producing one of the best goaltending seasons in NHL history. All that's left to see is whether or not it ends being better than Hasek's prime, which is, of course, a feat in itself.
It's not a question of whether or not Price will win an individual award at the end of a season, but rather how many.
(all data sourced from hockey-reference.com)
(GP= Games played, sv% = save percentage, GSAA = goals saved above average, GAA= goals against average, GA % = goals allowed percentage, lower is better, SA = shots against, SA/60 = shots against per 60, SO = shutouts, GPS = goalie point shares, MIN= minutes played)