When do you expect Budaj to see some action for the first time?
Thu, 6 Oct 2011 Canadiens vs Maple Leafs --- Price
Sun, 9 Oct 2011 Canadiens vs Jets --- Price
Thu, 13 Oct 2011 Flames vs Canadiens
Sat, 15 Oct 2011 Avalanche vs Canadiens
Tue, 18 Oct 2011 Sabres vs Canadiens
Thu, 20 Oct 2011 Canadiens vs Penguins
Sat, 22 Oct 2011 Maple Leafs vs Canadiens
Mon, 24 Oct 2011 Panthers vs Canadiens
Wed, 26 Oct 2011 Flyers vs Canadiens
Thu, 27 Oct 2011 Canadiens vs Bruins
Sat, 29 Oct 2011 Bruins vs Canadiens
Best guess I think. Look at Auld last year. ONE SINGLE GAME against a playoff team.
Apr 7 '11 MTL @ OTT
Mar 20 '11 MTL @ MIN
Feb 26 '11 CAR @ MTL
Feb 10 '11 NYI @ MTL
Feb 2 '11 FLA @ MTL
Jan 11 '11 MTL @ NYR
Dec 31 '10 MTL @ FLA
Dec 11 '10 MTL @ TOR
Nov 26 '10 MTL @ ATL
Oct 29 '10 MTL @ NYI
Odds are he plays against either the Flyers or Bruins since the games are back to back. Before that the best game for him is probably Sat vs. the Avs. Hope not, since I'm going to that one, but if he's going to play more than Auld did then that's probably the easiest game.
Aside from the back-to-back, the schedule's tight but regular. We might just see Price playing all of them till the 26th/27th.
Martin said he wants Price to get around 60starts, which means Budaj will play once every 4games. Considering our 5th game of the year is versus divisional rival Buffalo, I have a feeling Budaj will play versus his old team, the Avs, on Saturday.
Budaj is a decent young goalie. He is better than Auld, and working with Groulx will help him. I expect Martin to be playing with the schedule at first, trying to match Budaj versus weaker opponents, to see how he handles himself. If he proves capable of solid back up goaltending, then Martin won't have any problem giving him tougher games.
I'd play him on the 27th vs. the Bruins. Baptism by fire.
One thing I've found (though just my opinion) is for back-to-back games it is better to start the back-up in the second game. The first game you go with the #1 for the 2 points. The 2nd game when the players may be a little tired, put in the back-up because that gives the players a little more motivation to play hard for the guy who doesn't play often. Also, when playing the #1 in the second game, the players may feel it's ok to be tired and not give it all because you have the main guy back there to steal it for you.
I'm driving 13 hours to see my beloved Habs.. I havent been to a game in MTL since 2002. I will be there for the Home Opener vs Calgary and saturday vs the Avs. Please , Please, Please DO NOT PUT BUDAJ in on the 15th.. LOL.. I'm a goalie and i want to see my favorite Hab play in both games!
Hopefully the game vs the Panthers... I say Budaj will get most of his starts on the road just like Auld did last season!
The 3-in-4 stretch coming at the end of the month is nasty since it's all against teams that will be playoff contenders. You hate to throw him in cold against one of them. If Budaj gets one of those, my bet is 27th vs Bruins, for reasons stated by NLHabsFan above.