The Montreal Canadiens announced today that starting goaltender Carey Price will not travel with the team to Florida as he deals with a lower-body injury, something that immediately set off alarm bells among the fan base. Price has dealt with several lower-body issues over the last few seasons that kept him from playing up to his potential, something that certainly still hasn’t been reached this season. The 31-year old goaltender now carries a .904 save percentage on the season which, while better than last year’s totals, is simply not good enough for the Canadiens to really challenge for a top spot in the Atlantic Division.
In Price’s place, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports speculates that Michael McNiven will be recalled given Charlie Lindgren is dealing with an injury of his own. McNiven has an .884 save percentage in 12 AHL games this year, and still hasn’t made his NHL debut. That leaves Antti Niemi as the goaltender to carry the load until Price can return, whenever that may be.
- The Vancouver Canucks have some enviable minor league goaltending depth, but Thatcher Demko may have to carry even more weight for the Utica Comets going forward. Rick Dhaliwal of Sportsnet tweets that Richard Bachman could be out long-term with an Achilles injury, meaning Dmitri Kulbakov will be the backup tonight. Kulbakov has been bouncing between the ECHL and AHL this year, but could end up sticking with the Comets depending on what Vancouver does to address the injury.
- Adin Hill has been recalled by the Arizona Coyotes once again, giving them three goaltenders on the current roster. Amazingly Calvin Pickard hasn’t played in a single game for the team since being claimed a month ago, while they continue to give opportunities to the young Hill. He’s done well with those spots, but one has to wonder how long the team will continue to employ three without giving Pickard any work. He very well could find himself on waivers for the third time this season in the near future. Arizona also recalled Michael Bunting and Conor Garland, who had been sent down as a cost saving measure over the holidays.