Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price is undergoing further treatment for his concussion, according to head coach Dominique Ducharme.
The team confirmed Saturday that Price returned to Montreal.
The netminder is not expected to return to the ice early next week as originally thought.
Price suffered the concussion at 12:01 of the first period of Monday’s 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Alex Chiasson made contact with the goalie on a play in which a Connor McDavid goal was disallowed due to goaltender interference.
Price remained on the ice for the balance of the opening frame before Jake Allen replaced him for the rest of the game.
Cayden Primeau has the net for the Habs against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
With Price on the shelf for the foreseeable future, Montreal will turn to Allen and Primeau. That’s not a bad thing.
Allen has eight wins this season, with a 2.57 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. Those numbers are slightly better than his counterpart’s, who posts a 2.64 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.
Digging deeper into the numbers makes a pretty good case for Allen as the better goaltender, at least this season.
In terms of shot quality and quantity, Price has an expected goals against average of 2.30 – the ninth lowest in the league among 51 goaltenders who qualify. Contrast that with Allen’s 2.67 expected GAA, which puts him 31st in the NHL. Allen faces tougher shots and tougher competition because Montreal’s defence is better with Price in goal.
Stats hounds can really plunge the depths: Allen faces a massive amount of high danger shots from the inner slot each game, averaging 7.67 per game. Price faces an average of 5.4 high danger shots from the inner slot, the sixth fewest in the league.
And yet Allen’s numbers are still better overall.
When Price turns it on, like he usually does in the post-season, there’s nobody better in the crease for the Habs.
But for the time being, the case for Allen is strong.
Ahead of Saturday’s contest against the Flames, Primeau has limited NHL experience with just two league starts and one win from last season. The weekend start will be his season debut with the big club.