It’s been a long time. Too long. Carey Price’s last game was back on July 7th, 2021, when the Canadiens lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Price allowed one goal on 30 shots that game. Since then, Price was left unprotected by the Canadiens for the Seattle Expansion Draft and the Kraken, knowing about his pending knee operation, did not claim him. The goaltender has since had knee surgery, has missed time due to going on the NHLPA and NHL Players Assistance Program, as gone on the COVID protocol and he has suffered multiple set-backs with his knee rehabilitation.
But all of this seems to be behind him now. Much has changed since the last time he played, but he is indeed still the face of the Montreal Canadiens, a leader on this team and he looks ready to make a return. The team announced today that he will be travelling with his teammates on the road trip which will see them play the Devils in New Jersey on Thursday and the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday. The Canadiens will then head back to Montreal where they will be playing the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night, at the Bell Centre.
This is such a great news not only for the organization and the fans, but for Price himself, who has worked so hard for this moment. Rehab is not easy in any situation but for hockey players, particularly when suffering major setbacks, it must be excruciating.
You can tell that teammates are happy to have him back too. Jake Allen had this to say:
It is possible that he could play in Toronto on Saturday, considering how he has performed over the years on Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada. And with the opponent being the Maple Leafs, there would be no bigger stage, no bigger statement, particularly is he was to contribute to beating the Canadiens’ arch rivals. However, it is more likely that he will get the start on Monday, at the Bell Centre, against the Jets. Either way, we are hinging closer to see Price playing once again… and no Habs’ fan should be complaining about that.