As the heavyweight favorite of every international tournament, it’s no surprise that Canada won the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. When thinking of what makes up these powerhouse teams some say the likes of Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and others come to mind. However, one of the most important pieces in all of this international success is goaltender Carey Price.
Price has developed into one of the league’s elite goaltenders since being drafted fifth overall in 2005 by the Montreal Canadiens. Price has proven this by having at least 20 wins in every season since the 2010-11 season. Since taking over as the full-time starter of the team since then Price has helped the Canadiens ascend to one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. Even if Montreal can only score 1 goal in a game, Price gives the team the chance to win the game 1-0.
In Price’s two most recent seasons is where he has truly risen to elite status around the league. In 2014-15 Price had a career year gathering a record of 44-16-6 with a GAA of 1.96 and save percentage of .933%. Despite the Canadiens not being able to make it past the second round of the playoffs, Price took home hardware at the NHL Awards winning the Hart Memorial Trophy, William Jennings Trophy, Vezina Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award. In 2016 Price again got off to a fantastic start tallying a 10-2-0 record before being sidelined the entire rest of the season with an injury. The Canadiens felt the loss of Price for the rest of the season plummeting down the league standings and finishing with an overall record of 38-38-6.
Price’s performance in the World Cup of Hockey was the first time he had started a game in nine months and he showed no signs of rust. In the 5 games Price played for Canada at the World Cup, he gathered a 5-0-0 record an amazing save percentage of .957%. This extended Price’s international record to 16-0-0. Not only is it impressive for a goaltender to go undefeated in one tournament, but to be undefeated in international play for over a decade is sensational. This was the third time that Price had helped Canada to a championship after winning gold in the 2014 Sochi Olympics (5-0-0) and 2007 IIHF World Championship (6-0-0). To put things into an even bigger perspective, the last time Price lost an international game was in 2005 only months before he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. That was 11 years ago. Granted, when Team Europe took an early 1-0 lead in Game 2 of the World Cup of Hockey Finals Price was definitely aware this could be the end of his streak.
“Everybody’s brought it up, yeah,” Price said. “I thought it might be over tonight, but we just willed our way through it.”
However, with two late third period goals from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand Canada not only helped Price’s personal record remain perfect, but also captured the crown of the World Cup of Hockey. Now with the NHL season approaching fast Price will get a few days off before its off to Montreal to get into training camp before the season officially opens on October 13th against the Buffalo Sabres. After a disappointing season last year the Canadiens are hoping he can continue to bring his high level of success. With gold medals in the Olympics, Junior World Championships and the World Cup of Hockey championship only one thing remains that Price hopes to eventually capture, the Stanley Cup. He’ll have that opportunity with the Canadiens next season, but for now it is looking pretty clear that Carey Price is one of the major backbones’ of Team Canada in future international tournaments.