The Ottawa Senators have moved Pierre Groulx out of his role as goaltending coach, replacing him with Zac Bierk. Groulx will now work with the scouting staff and development team after serving as goalie coach since 2016. Senators GM Pierre Dorion explained the move:
Unfortunately, a number of our goaltending performances this season have been underwhelming. I think very highly of Pierre Groulx, he’s as dedicated and tireless a worker as anyone in the organization, but we recently reached a point where we thought a fresh outlook could help return some stability to our crease.
The Senators have a combined save percentage of .887 this season, only ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers’ .878 mark. The biggest contributor to that poor performance has been Matt Murray, who has an .880 in 22 appearances after signing a four-year, $25MM deal with Ottawa in the offseason. Murray’s contract is actually back-loaded with $15MM in salary owed over the last two years, meaning he’ll need to get his game back on track to be worth it for Ottawa.
- Carey Price will not be traveling with the Montreal Canadiens to Toronto for their upcoming games, instead remaining at home to get treatment on his injury. Cayden Primeau has been recalled from the AHL to the taxi squad to give the team a third goaltender during the trip. Head coach Dominique Ducharme told reporters including Eric Engels of Sportsnet that Price’s injury is a lingering one and the goaltender should only be considered day-to-day at this point.
- Even though Price hasn’t been good this season, posting a .903 save percentage through 23 appearances, his contemporaries still believe he has the ability to be among the best in the world. ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski polled ten active NHL players (including three goaltenders) and ten people in hockey operations to create a ranking of the best goalies in the game and Price still came in third behind Andrei Vasilevskiy and Connor Hellebuyck. The list speaks to the up-and-down nature of the position, with other names like Carter Hart and Jacob Markstrom also ending up ranked despite brutal 2020-21 seasons.