Leave it to my fellow Habs fans to find a dilemma or crisis at any point of the season. If its not some crisis involving Russians, it has to be something involving goaltenders...
Much to my delight, I watched Game #5 of the Calder Cup Finals last night. It was the Hershey Bears vs. our very own Hamilton Bulldogs. Much fuss was made about Carey Price being poised to be the first goaltender since Patrick Roy to start his season in Junior Hockey, and end as the starting goaltender of a Calder Cup contending team. I must admit...I was very excited watching this game and watching Carey Price dominate in nets. In fact, I went to bed last night happier than I usually am after watching the Habs win a game! This all changed this morning...no sooner did I type in the URL of my first destination (habsworld.net), did I see about 8 articles written by everyone from the Montreal Gazette to the Hamilton Spectator, talking about this apparent new crisis!
The apparent word is that since Carey Price has proven he can be successful in the Calder Cup Finals...he is now ready to be the #1 goalie in Montreal. Quickly, lets trade both Christobal Huet and Jaroslav Halak to whatever team wants them in return for that elusive #1 Center that will solve all the Habs woes!
Lets be real people...Carey Price is a GREAT AHL goaltender...he has the potential to be an AMAZING NHL goaltender...but he will end up like so many rushed young goaltenders who have been pushed too quickly....flipping burgers or playing in Switzerland or Italy. I don't care how cool under pressure this kid seems...14,000 fans in Hamilton for one game does NOT compare to 40+ sell-out Montreal home games, the Montreal media, and the Montreal women who will be tearing each others hair out to be the first to snag this young (soon to be) superstar.
The answer is simple...stick to the plan! Huet will start in Montreal until he gets hurt or Halak plays better. Halak will play backup until...well...see above. Carey Price will start as the Bulldogs #1 goaltender and see what its like to play a real season in a pro-league. In 2008-2009, when Huet is a UFA, Price (assuming he had a decent season in Hamilton) will come up and play tandem with Halak. This was the plan from the beginning of this season when Price was the best goaltender in camp (and they still sent him back to Juniors), and I think we should stick to it!
All this is, of course, my opinion...but I think it makes sense.