Injured Carey Price To Miss At Least Six Weeks
Montreal will be without star netminder Carey Price for at least six weeks, but the 28-year old does not require surgery according to the club.
Medical update: Carey Price will be out for a minimum of six weeks (lower body injury) – will not require surgery.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) November 30, 2015
Price left Wednesday’s game against the New York Rangers after visible struggling through the games first two periods. He was replaced by backup Mike Condon for the final frame.
The British Columbia native has already missed eight games this season, after injuring his knee against Edmonton on October 29th. Reports suggest it is Price’s right knee which is causing him difficulty again, with the reigning Hart Trophy winner now likely to miss the Winter Classic on January 1st, when the Canadiens take on Boston.
Even if Price is able to return close the six-week estimate, the more important question is how long it will be until he is truly healthy again. While six weeks is a typical timeline for an MCL injury, the reality is it can take months to heal completely. Vancouver Canucks starter Ryan Miller returned after seven weeks from a sprained MCL at the end of last season, but later said it took five months to full recover from the injury.
“Anytime you have that kind of injury they quote it as 4-6 weeks to get clear to play, but functionally you are not going to be the same for about 4-6 months,” Miller said.
Price has compiled a 10-2-2 record this season, posting a 2.06 goals-against average and .934 save percentage, and won seven straight games to start the season.
Holliston, Massachusetts native Condon performed admirably when Price was sidelined previously, and the former Princeton University stopper’s record this season sits at 8-2-3 with a 2.19 goals-against average and .916 save percentage.
The Canadiens announced Monday afternoon that they have recalled top prospect Zachary Fucale to back Condon up and reassigned Dustin Tokarski to the St. John’s Ice Caps. The IceCaps have three games in four days starting Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Tokarski will be looking to turn his season around. He was expected to serve as Price’s backup again this season, but struggled through camp and ultimately lost his place to Condon. The Saskatoon native has split time with Fucale in the AHL this season, going 2-2-2 with the St John’s IceCaps (3.45 goals-against average, .891 save percentage) but has not played since October 28th due to the IceCap’s schedule and previous call-ups to the Canadiens.
Short of a horrendous dip in form from Condon and Fucale, Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin is expected to let the pair handle the load until Price’s return in January, as the franchise sit ten points clear at the top of the Atlantic Division following a tremendous start to the new campaign.