The reign of the Guardians is over
The predictable end of Carey Price’s career is another important shift in the Canadian’s recovery phase. The next titular goalkeepers will no longer be the figureheads of the team.
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Since the mid-1980s, the fate of the Habs has rested primarily on the performance of its goaltenders.
It all started with Patrick Roy, who played a leading role in the Canadiens’ last two Stanley Cup titles, in 1986 and 1993.
Even after his impromptu departure for Colorado, the team’s performance continued to depend largely on the performance of its goalies.
Jocelyn Thibault, whom management at the time saw as Roy’s dolphin, had a good time.
But it was too much to ask him to put on the pads of a goaltender who was destined to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame after his career.
From strangers to stars
Among the goaltenders who followed, some went from unknown to stars in Montreal.
Jeff Hackett, whom the Canadian had obtained from the Chicago Blackhawks in return for Thibeault, won the Molson Cup two consecutive years with a team that missed the playoffs both times (1998-1999 and 1999-2000).
Cristobal Huet, who was an auxiliary with the Los Angeles Kings, won the trophy in 2006-07.
Again, the Habs were dropped from the playoff table on the last day of the season.
Slovak goalkeeper Jaroslav Halak received the same honor during this famous season when he helped the team reach the Eastern Conference final (2009-2010).
Prior to Price’s appearance, José Théodore had been the Canadiens’ most deserving player with four consecutive Molson Cup wins.
Price has nine, two more than Guy Lafleur, the last of the great forwards in the history of the organization.
The next Lafleur has not been born, but a culture change is on the horizon regarding the style of play that management wants to give to the team.
Upon their arrival in the organization, Kent Hughes and Martin St-Louis expressed the desire to assemble a more offensive formation. But the transformation will not happen by crying rabbit.
We’re talking about a team that finished 27th in goals scored per game (2.66) last season.
After Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, it’s slim among the other attackers.
The goals will come even more from the other side, with the Habs being the team that allowed the most goals in 2021-2022.