Forward lines and defense pairings
Byron – Drouin – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – De La Rose – Lehkonen
Scherbak – L. Shaw – Rychel
Deslauriers – McCarron – Carr
Benn – Petry
Alzner – Juulsen
Schlemko – Lernout
Mike Reilly, Byron Froese, Charles Hudon
Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body, Victor Mete – hand, Max Pacioretty – lower-body, Rinat Valiev – lower-body, Phillip Danault – upper body, Andrew Shaw – upper-body
Has there been a more underappreciated superstar than Carey Price?
Talk to anyone in hockey outside Quebec and the praise towards this elite athlete flow. Yet the favorite past time of Montreal fans and media is to bash Price (and his family) constantly. In fact, it’s competitive, with each trying to outdo one another manufacturing ever more outrageous and vicious lies.
The hatred began when Price was drafted by the Canadiens in 2005 instead of the preferred choices of the media, Gilbert Brule and Benoit Pouliot. It didn’t help matters that Pouliot and Brule bookended Price’s selection at fifth overall.
The contempt for Price deepened when the young phenom replaced an aging (and porous) fan favorite in Cristobal Huet. At that point the media was all-in joining forces with Alan Walsh in a committed campaign to run Price out of Montreal.
But general manager stepped in to thwart those plans and defended Price as the “thoroughbred” that he has been for Montreal. Pierre Gauthier followed Gainey’s lead by making the undeniably correct decision, albeit an unpopular one, by shipping Jaroslav Halak to St. Louis. Despite his standing as a Montreal media darling, Halak has had a sub-par career bouncing around to several teams.
All the while, Price took the Canadiens on his back, and brought success to Montreal despite the lack of a supporting cast. Price even helped pad the winning records of his head coaches, who proved their incompetence when their meal ticket was missing from the crease.
Price has won almost every individual award possible and has been part of championships at every level, except for the Stanley Cup. Visiting media still refer to Price as the best goaltender in the world and fellow players confirm this. In a recently released NHLPA poll, Price was overwhelming picked by players as the toughest goaltender to face.
Throughout his career, Price has mowed down one Canadiens goaltending record after another leaving greats like Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy in his wake. In the game against New Jersey, Price tied Jacques Plante for the most games played by a Canadiens goaltender (556.)
Yet fans and media scoff at his achievements. Some would even prefer the Canadiens to go with new darling Antti Niemi as their starter next season. Smartest fans in the NHL? Not even close.
When will Price get the recognition that he truly deserves?
▲ Carey Price, Noah Juulsen, Alex Galchenyuk, Artturi Lehkonen, Jacob De La Rose, Brendan Gallagher
▼ Mike Reilly, Logan Shaw, Nicolas Deslauriers, Jeff Petry, Brendan Gallagher, Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, Karl Alzner, Jordie Benn