In today’s goalie news, we’ll talk about a five-star save, a prospect getting an opportunity, and one of the worst jokes you’ll ever hear.
Thankful for Price
All things considered, the five-goal performance Carey Price gave on Thanksgiving wasn’t his strongest. In fact, considering he allowed five goals in his last start as well, there must be some concern about the former Hart Trophy winner’s health or form. Still, one thing that has kept Price among the truly elite goaltenders throughout his career is his ability to make spectacular saves that other goalies simply cannot. And on Thursday night, he did it once again.
In the closing seconds of the middle period, Blake Coleman of the New Jersey Devils raced ahead of the Montreal Canadiens’ defense. He slid a backdoor feed to Kyle Palmieri as fans in the Bell Centre watched hopelessly. But that’s when Price lunged across his crease, stretched out his glove, and shut the door, giving hope back to the home fans in Montreal.
It was the best goalie highlight from the only game on American Thanksgiving; however, it was not enough to bring the Canadiens victory. They ultimately lost 6-4, and Price’s efforts were in vain.
Price’s bad run of form in recent days may accentuate the Canadiens desperate need of a better backup goaltender. He’s started 21 games this season, all but four of the team’s matchups. Few goalies are capable of carrying a franchise on their back like Price can at his best, but even the elite of the elite need a respite now and again.
Senators Eyeing Future in Högberg?
Craig Anderson’s unfortunate injury may have created an opportunity for the Ottawa Senators to evaluate their future between the pipes. The team called up Marcus Högberg, their 2013 third-round pick, and, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, they’re intending to get him into action (from ‘SNAPSHOTS: Marcus Hogberg will get a chance to start for Senators,’ Ottawa Sun, Nov. 28, 2019). Friday and Saturday feature back-to-back games for the Senators, a prime opportunity for any goaltender.
He’ll play, for sure, in the back-to-back and we’ll get him in there. I’ve said all along this is process of how many guys we can get to play better and part of the future of this group. He’s certainly part of it. He’s played well of late (in Belleville) and he’ll get his shot.Senators Head Coach D.J. Smith on Marcus Högberg
Högberg isn’t a total league newcomer, having played four games last season. But the Senators are a much-improved team since then and might be better able to support the 25-year-old goaltender this time.
Ottawa has received better-than-expected goaltending from backup Anders Nilsson this season; however, at 29-years-old, he’s not the future. It’s hard to know whether Högberg will be, either, and the long term future may well 2019 second-round pick Mads Søgaard. But the Senators cannot know what they have in Högberg unless they play him, and this weekend will be their first chance to do so this season.
Ben Bishop’s Bad Joke
Dallas Stars’ goaltender Ben Bishop has many talents. Not only is he the tallest goaltender in the NHL, but he’s among the very best in the league as well. Whatever his other talents, though, we’re thinking he should cross his dream of becoming a standup comedian off the list. Here’s why:
The Stars wanted to wish their fans a Happy Thanksgiving, but they didn’t have to force their goaltender to do this! Bishop smiles guiltily at the camera, knowing he’s about to unleash a howler of a pun to rival the worst goals-against of his career, and he delivers his masterpiece:
Why did the turkey get kicked out of the sports stadium?
Because he tripped-a-fan…Ben Bishop
The six-year, $29.5 million contract Bishop signed in the summer of 2017 is now among the best goalie contracts in the league. But it certainly doesn’t pay him enough to make puns like this. He should get an opportunity to redeem himself in the Stars’ next contest on Friday night against the St. Louis Blues, his hometown team.
Stephen Ground is an author with The Hockey Writers and is co-host of the Two Guys No Cup Podcast. He enjoys studying the numbers and providing fresh looks at various stories.