Bigger fish to fry
|Carey Price is the fifth goalie in NHL history to win a playoff series before his 21st birthday.|
Despite leading all rookies with 24 wins on his way to backstopping the Canadiens to the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Price ended up on the outside looking in when Nicklas Backstrom of the Capitals and the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were announced as the league’s trio of top rookie candidates on Wednesday. The 20-year-old Price now has ample opportunity to prove Calder Trophy voters wrong with another round of playoff hockey ahead of him.
Only the fifth rookie goalie over the past 15 years to register a playoff shutout, Price is also one of just four goalies in the league’s 91-year history to have led a team to a playoff series victory prior to turning 21. Joining Price on that exclusive list is the Canadiens’ Patrick Roy (1986), the Oilers’ Andy Moog (1981) and Detroit’s Harry Lumley (1945), who each snuffed out an opponent's playoff run before their 21st birthday.
Given the rate at which Price is padding his resume these days, it’s a good thing for Backstrom, Kane and Toews that rookie-of-the-year balloting ended before the playoffs. As for Price, there’s another trophy handed out in June that’s he’s got his eye on.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com