The Canadiens announced on Friday that Carey Price will be back in the squad.
“Monday will be here” said coach Dominique Ducharme after team training. “Obviously we haven’t seen him for a month. We haven’t talked to him and he will come to see our therapists and see where he is and from there we will build on.”
Price hasn’t played since the 2021 Stanley Cup final, where he stopped the Canadiens up to second place.
Where has Carey Price been?
On October 7, the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced that Price would voluntarily participate in the NHL / NHLPA player assistance program.
“Today I don’t think about Carey Price, the goalkeeper,” said general manager Marc Bergevin. “I’m thinking of Carey Price the human being.”
Bergevin, who learned the news the day before – which he mentioned caught him off guard – was overcome with emotion during his press conference.
“It’s … it’s hard,” he said, wrestling through tears when asked what Price has meant to him for the past nine years together, before nodding to the next question.
The program was created in 1996 and assists players and their families with mental health, substance abuse and other problems. The exact reason for Price’s admission to the program was not disclosed; however, Price’s wife Angela posted the following message on her Instagram:
Posted by Carey Price’s wife Angela on IG. We thank them for trying to help others by sharing their story. Let’s hope Carey gets the help she needs. pic.twitter.com/WLnKSCwqZk
– Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 7, 2021
Bergevin said at the time of the announcement that Price would be out for a minimum of 30 days, but “it could be longer”. November 7 marks almost exactly 30 days.
Carey Price is also recovering from knee surgery
Price skipped training camp while recovering from knee (meniscus) surgery in July. He had not trained with the team but reportedly skated, for Stu Cowan. of the Montreal Gazette. He was due to return for the start of the season when the surgery was announced; However, as things got closer to the start of the season (Montreal’s first game was on October 13), his lineup wasn’t as clear.
“There’s definitely a build-up. I don’t think he’s a complete doctor like when they get there before the season, but he’s definitely coming out of an injury, surgery, so we have to see where he stands with that,” Ducharme said. “And then from there, I think it’s the gym, then on the ice alone, then with the goalkeeper coach, with the shooters, with the team.
“So there’s definitely a build-up, and the timeline, it’s hard to go deep and really have a plan.”
When will Carey Price play in a game?
As far as is known, Price hasn’t skated since joining the program, so the expectation is that it will take a few weeks before he’s fully ready to go. Between a normal training ground and preseason action, there is about 2.5 weeks of preparation for the start of the season, but players enter this after skating for weeks. The Canadiens will also likely make a slow build-up for Price since he is returning from that knee surgery. According to Eric Engels of Sportsnet, Price could also do some conditioning in Laval (AHL) before getting dressed in Montreal.
It’s been 121 days since Price played for the Canadiens, in the Game 5 defeat to Lightning in the Stanley Cup final. The netminder went 12-7-5 with a save rate of 0.901 in 25 games in 2021. He has wasted time at the end of the season after getting into concussion protocol and playing a game at Laval in preparation for his comeback. When he returned, Price recorded a save rate of 0.924 and 2.28 goals versus the postseason average.
NHL POWER RANKINGS: Canadians start slowly
Over the course of 14 seasons, all with the Canadiens, the 2015 Hart and Vezina Trophy winner has a record of 360-257-79, a .917 save rate and 49 closures.
The Canadiens have struggled as a team to start the 2021-22 season. Entering on November 5, 30 of 32 teams in the points sat down with a 3-9-0 record. He conceded 3.33 goals conceded per game played, the sixth worst in the league, despite conceding 30.7 shots per game (12th fewer). With Price out, Jake Allen took the no. 1 place but it is 3-7-0 with a saving rate of 0.904 and 2.92 goals against the average. Backup Sam Montembeault is winless with a save percentage of 0.887 and 3.52 GAA.