MONTREAL – There’s a new champ in town.
After claiming Play of the Year honors for three-straight seasons, Carey Price has finally met his match in Lars Eller.
It took two weeks of intense match-ups to determine this year’s winner, but the fans have spoken loud and clear. When Eller capped off a career-night this January with a spin-o-rama penalty shot goal, he also cemented his place in PoY history. The 23-year-old Dane narrowly edged out the All-Star netminder with 56% of the votes in the finals after taking down another of Price’s highlight-reel saves in the semis with a 73.3% landslide.
In one of the greatest individual performances in recent memory, Eller almost single-handedly took down the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 4, scoring the first hat trick of his young career before getting a chance to etch his name in the team’s record books with a third-period penalty shot. Nearly blowing the roof off the Bell Centre with his successful spin-o-rama on Chris Mason, Eller became the first Habs player to score four goals in a game in Montreal since Brian Bellows did so against the Sabres in 1993.
The shifty forward celebrated his crowning achievement in fitting fashion, hitting the ice for a victory lap to toss four pucks into the crowd after earning first star honors in the game.
The spectacular play is one Habs fans won’t soon forget, and if they do, they’ll always be able to look back at the record books for a reminder. It would be pretty tough for anyone – All-Star goalies included – to compete with that.
Enjoy the moment, Lars, and remember: the only thing harder than making it to the top is staying there!
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Shauna Denis.
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