by Michael Ham-Fan, Staff Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

(Photo by Francois Laplante/Getty Images)
(Photo by Francois Laplante/Getty Images)

 

MONTREAL, QC – Winner of four trophies at the NHL awards and a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Carey Price has had a dream 16 months. All that’s missing is a Stanley Cup ring. For that to happen, it will need more than a perfect year from Carey Price. The team in front of him, the Montreal Canadiens, will have to perform better in the upcoming year. In the 2014-2015 season, there were times during the season that Carey Price kept the team afloat.

There were moments where his defense wasn’t as solid as it should have been and Price showed hockey fans why he was the season’s most valuable player. Now, the question is…can he repeat such an incredible year? I personally fully expect Carey Price to have a very good season, but I also think that the team is going to have to give him more support than they did last year where Price had to correct a lot of mistakes. Part of the leaky defense was caused by a game-plan that relies on Carey Price making the “easy save” and then counter-attack from there, but some were simply mental errors from the players.

A Reinforced Montreal Defense

I believe that the defense will look more solid in front of Carey Price this season. Firstly, the long-term addition of Jeff Petry, who looked like a top pairing defenseman in last playoffs, will certainly bring an element of stability to this Montreal defense. Petry has signed a 6-year deal with the Canadiens and at the age of 27, this deal takes him through his prime years.

Secondly, the addition of Petry also allows Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban to play a bit less hockey in a lengthy season, which will allow the two most relied-on defensemen to have   more energy throughout the season and into the playoffs. Finally, the Montreal defense is improved in the sense that it is as deep as it ever has been. General manager Marc Bergevin has definitely put an emphasis on defensemen this off-season. The signings of Joel Hanley, Ryan Johnston, Mark Barberio and the drafting of Noah Juulsen and Simon Bourque demonstrates this focus.

Out of this list, I am intrigued by defenseman Mark Barberio, a Montreal-native. He is a quick skater for his big frame and has excellent vision offensively. He has been able to put up a lot of points in his junior career with the Moncton Wildcats (168 points in 261 games) and in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch (134 points in 215 games). He hasn’t been able to bring that production to the NHL level, but at 25 years old, he remains an interesting depth option.

He will have a hard time getting regular playing spot barring any injuries with defensemen like Greg Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi still on the outside looking in with the current lineup. Certainly, there still could be movement on this front before the season starts, but the Montreal defense is definitely deep on the depth chart.

I believe that Carey Price won’t have to repeat his miracles from last season as his defense will play a much more stable game. He will, still in my opinion, nonetheless be his normal self and have a solid year.

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Lien vers mes articles en français : http://fr.allhabs.net/author/mhamfan/ -------------------Michael is a Staff Writer for All Habs Magazine. He completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology at the Université de Montréal and is now doing his Masters' degree at the Université de Sherbrooke in Clinical Sciences. Michael has been a hockey fan and a Habs fans pretty much all his life, so for the last two decades and a half. He was born in Montreal to a Chinese mother and a Honduran-Chinese father, so he is fluent in French, English and Cantonese. He understands Spanish and Mandarin but not enough to speak it. His objective in writing is to give information and to give his opinion. At no point will he try to act as an expert on the subject. Michael is humbled to be able to write on hockey and that has always been a dream for him. He attends a lot of hockey games and practices during the year (Habs, Juniors etc.) and when he is not at the game, he is watching them at home, so he will base his opinion a lot on what he has actually seen rather than what he has heard. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael est un chroniqueur pour Le Magazine All Habs. Il a complété un baccalauréat spécialisé en Psychologie à l'Université de Montréal et il est maintenant, à sa première année en maîtrise en Sciences Cliniques à l'Université de Sherbrooke. Michael a été un amateur de hockey et un partisan des Canadiens depuis les vingt-cinq dernières années. Il parle quotidiennement en français, en anglais et en cantonais. Il comprend aussi l'espagnol et le mandarin sans être très fluide. Michael a appris que la modestie et le respect étaient deux valeurs nécessaires dans la vie. Son approche pour écrire des articles est de donner son opinion basée sur de l'information concrète. Son but n'est surtout pas de se prendre pour un expert. Il assiste très souvent à des matchs de hockey (Canadiens, Juniors, etc.) et lorsqu'il n'est pas dans les estrades, il les regarde chez lui. Donc, son opinion sera basée sur ce qu'il aura vu, plus que ce qu'il aurait entendu. Donc, ses articles ne seront jamais écrits sous le point de vue d'un expert, mais bien celui d'un amateur qui veut susciter la discussion avec ses pairs.
  • Mark Nye

    Carey Price can & will repeat last season maybe not in awards but in his abilities & stats as a goalie the best goalie in the world . Price will have a better defensive unit in-front of him & hopefully offensive players will give Carey more goal support .
    Price has mentality & fortitude to get even better if we can even imagine such a thing LOL .
    Go Habs Go !!!!