Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price may be the "present" when it comes to Canadiens goaltending, but a star from the past has a pretty good idea of what it takes to stand between the pipes for Montreal during a successful post-season run.
Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy joined Michael Landsberg on Off The Record on Monday and shared his thoughts on the Habs' netminding. In particular, Roy focused on Montreal's situation in the first round when things were at their shakiest for the Habs. Halak was pulled in favour of Price in Game 3 after allowing three goals on 13 shots during a 5-1 home loss, and then was benched in Game 4 as Washington went ahead 3-1 in the series.
"The ultimate test was when he was pulled; he did not start Game 4 against Washington. Even me, to be honest with you, I'd be rattled," explained Roy. "I don't know if I could have bounced back for Game 5.
But Halak did respond when given the chance. He was tapped to start Game 5 on the road, and came up with a 37-save performance in a 2-1 Montreal win. He went on to stop 53 shots in a memorable Game 6 victory before backstopping the Canadiens to the series win in the deciding game.
"I'm very impressed the way he has dealt with the situation with Price, and he responded really well in Games 5, 6, and 7," Roy said on OTR. "That is the part that impressed me the most. Yes, he won those games, but being able to come back and perform at the level is something you don't see."
Roy also discussed Price, once the heir-apparent starter in Montreal who has now been relegated to back-up at age 22.
"It can't be easy for him, obviously he wants to play. He had his chances, that's the way I look at it," said Roy. "They gave him all the opportunity to play, and during the season, don't get me wrong, if it wasn't for Halak, I don't think Montreal would be in the position they are in today. I don't think they would have made the playoffs. He had his chance."
Despite the fact that Price is not starting, Roy feels that patience in the young goalie will pay off down the road.
"The good thing is, people are going to say, yeah, but he's only a year younger than Halak, and I think sometimes some guys take a little bit more time to develop than others," said Roy.