The Habs may have missed the playoffs, but their future is vey bright, and nowhere is this more apparent than between the pipes. If anything, they have too many. Here is a rundown of the goalies they currently have.
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Cristobal Huet - When he is on his game, he can match anyone in the league save for save. From the last half of last year to the first half of this year he was spectacular, then he had a rough stretch and an injury, but he is still more than capable of carrying a team for long stretches.
Jaroslav Halak - He starred at the AHL level this year, and when given the staring job during Huet's injury, was able to carry the Habs to, well, just shy of a playoff spot. Halak has shown more than enough to be Huet's backup next year, and should Huet be injured again, Halak has the confidence of his teammates and will do the job asked of him.
David Aebischer - The most experienced of the Habs' goalies, Aebischer has had some success in his career. But down the stretch, when the Habs needed him, he faltered, and opened the door for Halak. Montreal is simply too deep here for a goalie to take his job for granted. As such, I don't think there's any way Aebischer begins next year in Montreal.
Michael Leighton - Now, to me the move to acquire him made no sense at all. Leighton is a career minor leaguer, and I'd be surprised if he ever plays another NHL game. One thing for sure though, is that it won't be in Montreal. Also likely to be gone after this year.
Yann Danis - I'm very surprised Montreal didn't call him up this year...after all, Leighton's on the active roster. Danis did not play in the bigs this year, but last year got into 6 games, and was rather impressive, going 3-2-1. Probably the first call-up next year should Huet or Halak go down. I wouldn't panic if Danis had to play.
Carey Price - No pro experience, but that may change as he has just been called up to the AHL from his junior team. Price is the future of the Canadiens in net. He turned in an incredible performance at the WJHC, being named the tournament MVP and leading Canada to gold. Could use some seasoning, but before long he'll be starring at the NHL level.
Loic Lacasse and Christopher Heino-Lindberg are in the mix, but I simply think they're buried too deep in the Habs' system to make any significant impact, at least with this team.
Most organizations wish they had our depth in goal - now and for the future. Now the task is to work on the D and forwards. There's not as much to do as you'd think - our youth carried us through the second half, and quite successfully. We just gotta remove the dead weight (Kovalev, Samsonov, Bonk, Niinimaa, etc...) and we'll be back contending for the Stanley Cup. A shrewd trade or signing here or there will only help it along.
Y'all have a great evening. It should be, since the playoffs start tonight.
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