Last year, Carey Price was the forgotten man in Montreal's push to the Eastern Conference Finals, pushed aside to facilitate Jaro Halak's Cinderella run.
But, now Halak is gone – traded to St. Louis this summer in a highly unpopular move at the time – and Price is the man after a regular season to remember.
But, Price does not have great postseason numbers. He has 19 postseason appearances in his NHL career and has won just 5. He has lost the past 6 postseason games he has played.
Yet, the Canadiens are convinced he can be the man this spring that propels the team on another long run through the playoffs.
"Goalies are always big this time of year and Carey's been awesome," defenseman Hal Gill said.
"Us, as players, have had the treat of having some outstanding goaltending and Carey has been the guy for us all year and we expect the same from him moving forward in the playoffs," added forward Mike Cammalleri.
In fact, Cammalleri believes Price's success now rests in last year's frustration of riding the bench while Halak earned all the accolades.
"I think it started last year for Carey and I said that all along," Cammalleri said. "When Jaro played so well, Carey kind of handled it with a level of maturity that led to success this year. He made a decision at some point last year where he said OK, regardless of what happens, I’m going to get better.
"No one scored on him the last two months of practice and that whole thing led into it this year. I'm a big believer that things don't just happen for no reason and I think he put in the work to get to where he has been this year."