Why Carey Price Could Win Both the Hart and Vezina Trophy
When talking about goaltenders that have won both the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender and the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player, two recent goaltenders that come to mind are Jacques Plante (Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins), Dominik Hasek (Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators) and Jose Theodore (Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild).
Much like when Theodore won the two coveted trophies after the 2001-02 season, another Canadiens’ netminder is looking to accomplish that feat this season: Carey Price.
This is an amazing story on many levels. Price was basically almost booed out of town in pre-season not only for not performing well in a meaningless pre-season game, but for also being the one to take over for Jaroslav Halak, who was traded to the St. Louis Blues after getting the Canadiens to within three wins of a Stanley Cup Final in a remarkable playoff run.
With all that said, it is the Canadiens who ended up getting the better part of the deal as Price has been everything and more for his hockey club this season. Price has 34 wins (1st in the NHL), a 2.31 goals against average (6th in the NHL), a .924 save percentage (5th in the NHL), 8 shutouts (2nd in the NHL) and is first in the entire league when it comes to games (63) and minutes (3,745) played by an NHL netminder.
Price has given his Canadiens’ a chance to win every game he has played in as he has been able to come up with the big save when his team needs it the most and more often than not, be the team’s best player on the ice. He is the main reason why the Canadiens are just three points behind the Boston Bruins for the Northeast Division lead and are sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Another goaltender that has had an outstanding season is Bruins’ goaltender Tim Thomas. Thomas is first in the league in both goals against average at 2.03 and save percentage at .938. Both of these statistics are remarkable considering the kind of offense that is present in the NHL these days.
With that said, it is Price who could win both the Vezina and Hart Trophies this season. Price has played in more games behind a much depleted defense and a mediocre offense while Thomas has had both consistent defense and offense all season long. Price also has to be at his best because he knows he is going to get the majority of games due to a somewhat inconsistent backup goaltender in Tuukka Rask.
This has been Price’s year and he should be rewarded at such at the NHL Awards Show in June.