If the Montreal Canadiens are going anywhere this season it will be thanks in large part to whatever success Carey Price has keeping pucks out of the net.
After a solid season and a strong showing in the playoffs, Price is firmly entrenched as Montreal's No. 1 goaltender and looking to build on his success.
Montreal fans weren't happy to start last season as Price was the choice in goal over Jaroslav Halak, who led the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference finals the year before.
Now Price is definitely the right choice in Montreal.
He posted 38 wins, a 2.35 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage in 72 games last season and was even better in the playoffs with a 2.11 GAA and .934 save percentage in Montreal's seven-game first-round loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
The focus of Montreal fans now is not if Price should be the goalie, but for how long. He will become a restricted free agent July 1, 2012, and even Price admites that is weighing on his mind a bit.
"Everybody's going to think about it. Every player wants to sign another contract," Price said. "So this is obviously a big year for me and I want to have another successful year like last year. I want to do everything I did last year, and I want to do more."
A big year and Price will be seeking a big raise on his current two-year, $5.5 million deal. The Canadiens are not know to conduct contract negotiations during the season very often, meaning Price will likely have to live with the uncertainty until the season ends.
"Everybody knows I want to play here and sign an extension," Price said. "I'll just wait for my agent and the GM to do their thing. That's what they're paid to do."
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