It is a song that Montreal fans have heard before. It seems like yesterday that Michel Therrien was assuring the fans that Carey Price was making progress. He repeatedly told the media that they weren’t worried about the injury and that it was either day to day or week to week. On and on it went until, finally, the season ended without Price playing another game.
Fast forward to now and we find ourselves once again being treated to the same sound bites. The coach is now Claude Julien but the words are eerily familiar. “A Minor issue”, “We are not worried”, and the new “This is completely unrelated to the previous injury”
Regardless of the injury and whether it is related to the previous injury, two things are becoming clear:
#1) As he ages, Price is looking more and more like an ongoing lower body injury risk.
#2) He is a very slow healer.
At the age of 30 there are two paths that Price’s health can take. The first is he bounces back and plays many more years largely injury free. With Montreal tying up 8 more years and 84 million dollars they desperately need this to be the outcome. The other path is that Price starts to suffer injury after injury much like the chronic lower body injuries that Rick DiPietro suffered through after injuring his lower body at the 2008 All Star Game.
The last time Price went out for an extended period, Montreal fell from a league leader to out of the playoffs as they could not find another goalie to stop the puck. Fortunately this year they have uncovered a gem in Charlie Lindgren who appears to be ready to be an above average NHL starter in his own right.