The Montreal Canadiens are currently dealing with a problem that many teams would like to have, they simply have too many good goalies. Of course this isn't really a problem at all unless those goaltenders are competing for the same spot and thankfully for the Canadiens they don't find themselves in this situation currently, but there are those out there who believe they should be.
In a recent segment on Sportsnet Tonight featuring Montreal Canadiens reporter Stu Cowan, the topic of a potential goaltending controversy in Montreal came up. Everyone of course knows that Carey Price is the top goaltender in Montreal and he's got the kind of long term contract that proves it, but the performance of recently acquired goalie Jake Allen has become something that simply cannot be ignored. It becomes even more difficult to ignore it when you contrast it with Price's own lackluster performance this season, something that Cowan himself acknowledged this week.
Cowan was asked flat out which goaltender gave the Habs the best chance of winning, and his answer was telling.
"Right now it's Jake Allen, I don't think there is any doubt about that," said Cowan. "It will be interesting to see who Claude Julien puts in net tomorrow night. I think it will be Carey Price just the way he has been rotating things, but the only two losses Jake Allen has this season the Canadiens have been shutout in both games."
Cowan admitted that he did not know who would be starting for the Canadiens in net on Saturday when they will face the Maple Leafs, but it was clear he's very interested in learning how the Habs head coach will handle this situation.
"Nobody today bothered to ask Claude Julien who would be in nets, he won't tells us the day before a game, but we'll find out tomorrow morning and it's gonna be interesting."
There's no question that Jake Allen has been the better goalie, his 2.01 goals against average and .933 save percentage are light years ahead of Price's own numbers which are a 2.84 goals against average and an .896 save percentage, so much so that Cowan believes we may be getting close to Julien stepping in and making a tough decision.
"Price has to play better... and if he doesn't it's going to be interesting to see how much more leash Claude Julien gives him before he starts giving him consecutive starts."
Update: Price will get the start tonight, should be interesting.
Photo Credit: Daniel Lea/CSM/Zuma