The good news is that Carey Price doesn’t need surgery.
The bad news is that he will be out of the lineup until at least mid-January.
It’s not entirely clear what the nature of Price’s injury is. It was previously reported that the 28-year-old stepped on a puck during warm-ups before the team’s game against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 29 and is speculated to be the cause of Price’s ailment. Regardless, Price has missed 11 of the team’s past 14 games ue to injury, and will now miss at least 16 more—including the Winter Classic on Jan. 1.
Some speculated that Price may have initially returned too early from the original injury—a thought that Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin quickly dismissed.
“When it did happen I was wondering if he came back too quick,” Bergevin said. “But, based on our doctors, based on Carey, based on everything we have…it was not the reason that he got injured, that he came back too quick. You always wonder if that was the case. We looked into it deeply after and that was not the case.”
Bergevin added that the team will rotate between rookie goalie Mike Condon, who is 8-2-3 with a 2.19 GAA and .916 save percentage in 14 games this season, and Dustin Tokarski until Price returns.
“We’re going to go with Mike and Dustin and we’ll see what the character of this team is,” Bergevin said. “I believe in our character. Every team in the NHL goes through periods without key players. There’s no need for us to panic over this.”
Despite not having their starting goalie in recent weeks, the Montreal Canadiens are first overall in the league with 39 points. A large part of their initial success this year is due to their enhanced goal scoring capabilities. Last year, the Canadiens finished 20th in the league with an average of 2.61 goals for per game. This year, they are second only to the Dallas Stars with an average of 3.48 goals per game. They are also one of the best defensive teams in the league, allowing an average of just 2.20 goals per game—third best in the NHL.