Jake Allen’s unfortunate injury early in the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night has raised a lot of questions as to who will step in as the second goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens.
Despite the season being mathematically over, the Montreal Canadiens still need to ice two goalies per game and with the imminent return of Carey Price, many are wondering if this will open the door for the Canadiens’ franchise goaltender to return. Head coach Martin St. Louis quickly shot down any correlation between the injury to Allen and a hastened return for Price.
“I don’t think it’s a door that’s opening for Carey when Jake is hurt; we’re not going rush Carey.” – Canadiens interim head coach Martin St. Louis when asked if Jake Allen’s injury would accelerate Price’s return.
Ultimately, Price will decide what to do when he is ready to go, but the severity of Allen’s injury will be the determining factor in what comes next for the Montreal Canadiens in nets.
Recall Cayden Primeau… Again?
Cayden Primeau has been the yo-yoed up and down from the Laval Rocket to the Montreal Canadiens and back for over a year now due to the injuries to Carey Price and the use of Taxi Squads. It has significantly reduced the amount of games he’s been able to play over that span of time, and has directly affected his confidence; it’s become difficult for him to get into the groove and build some momentum.
To call him up right now, as he’s been on a roll with the Laval Rocket en route to their first playoff qualification in franchise history, would be a shame. He has really improved his play since being sent down to Laval on a permanent basis in mid-February and bringing him up would be a detriment to his development at this time. With the Canadiens having traded Michael McNiven earlier this season, they don’t have another goaltender on contract in the minors, as Kevin Poulin, Laval’s other goaltender, is only on an AHL-level contract and cannot be recalled by the club.
Could Carey Price Return For Montreal Canadiens After All?
The Montreal Canadiens were adamant last night about Jake Allen’s injury not being a factor in Carey Price’s return to the lineup, which is expected sometime this week. That doesn’t necessarily mean Price isn’t ready to return; it just means that they won’t rush him to play on Monday against the Winnipeg Jets unless he’s 100% ready to go.
The veteran goaltender has been consistent on his desire to play games this season for the Canadiens, and this could be, indirectly, the perfect time to see him make his long-awaited return to the Bleu Blanc Rouge. With Monday’s game being at the Bell Centre, the roof would likely blow off due to the ovation Price is likely to receive, something the Canadiens’ franchise player likely knows.
At the end of the day, Allen’s injury will determine the next steps at this junction. If he’s out for the season, it will force the Canadiens to get creative. If it’s just a minor thing, we may see a quick call-up for Cayden Primeau until either Allen or Price is ready to go.