Canadiens goaltender Carey Price found himself on the hotseat in Montreal after getting pulled in back-to-back losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 13 and the Philadelphia Flyers on April 15.
During the two games – a 5-1 loss in Toronto and a 7-3 loss to the Flyers at the Bell Centre – Price allowed nine goals on 33 shots, dropping his record to 19-10-4 with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.
Backup Peter Budaj, who had a 7-1-1 record with a 2.19 GAA and .915 save percentage, was given the start for the next game, April 17 in Pittsburgh.
Back in 1993 – the last time the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup – goaltender Patrick Roy also found himself on the Montreal hotseat.
In his book, A Season In Time: Super Mario, Killer, St. Patrick, the Great One, and the Unforgettable 1992-93 NHL Season, Todd Denault writes about how the Canadiens were prepared to trade Roy to Quebec for Eric Lindros after Lindros refused to play for the Nordiques when they selected him with the No. 1 pick at the 1991 NHL entry draft.
Denault writes that according to Pierre Pagé – the Nordiques’ general manager at the time - Montreal made an offer for Lindros that included Roy. Denault also writes about a Journal de Montréal poll conducted on Jan. 13, 1993, when Roy was struggling.
“Asked whether the Canadiens should trade Roy, an astounding fifty-seven per cent responded in the affirmative,” Denault writes.
Denault also tells the story about how, after losing his last five regular-season games in 1992-93, Roy decided it was time to change the Koho pads he started wearing that year after signing a new endorsement deal. Roy visited the Lefebvre brothers, Michel and Patrick, who had designed his pads before.
“Laying out the Koho pads he had used all season long, he asked the Lefebvre brothers to empty them of their contents and rebuild them from the inside out,” Denault writes.
When the job was done, Roy boldly announced: “With these I’ll win the Stanley Cup.”
Roy won four Stanley Cups during his career – two with Montreal and two with the Colorado Avalanche – and posted a lifetime playoff record of 151-94 with 23 shutouts and a 2.30 goals-against average.
Price has struggled during the postseason, posting a career 8-15 record with three shutouts and a 2.84 goals-against average.
The heat will be turned up even higher on Price when the playoffs begin this season and Canadiens fans are hoping he can respond the way Roy did in 1993.
I was pretty young in 93, but I do remember alot of heat on Roy. I think his GAA was over 3.00 in the reg season, and the nords didn't make the pressure go away when they rallied to beat montreal in game 1 of the playoffs
He pretty much found his A game later in that series and never looked back. As if he just flicked a switch and he was st. patrick again.
Most goalies can't do that. Price just needs to find his game as soon as possible.
PS - this is the first time I've heard the habs making an offer to the nords for lindros.