Skip to content
Cayden Primeau hasn’t won a game since Christmas
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

The three-way battle in front of the net has been going on since the start of the season. It’s as if we’ve become so accustomed to talking about the ménage à trois in front of the net that it’s simply become normal.

But it isn’t.

Since there’s a world in which Kent Hughes can’t trade one of his goaltenders by the deadline, and nobody seems to be getting hurt, we could well have three goaltenders for 82 games.

That would be something.

The good news? The three-way dynamic seems to be working for Samuel Montembeault. He’s got a good workload to develop as the Canadiens’ #1 goaltender… and he’s getting the job done.

But let’s talk about the goalkeepers’ workload.

The goalkeeper rotation system hasn’t been in place for months now, and I wondered how many games the goalkeepers have played in the last few weeks.

So I did my research.

Here’s the number of games played by each Montreal Canadiens goaltender since a strategically chosen moment, namely their return to action following the holiday break.

  • December 28: Cayden Primeau loses to the Hurricanes
  • December 30: Jake Allen loses to the Panthers
  • December 31: Samuel Montembeault loses to the Lightning
  • January 2: Samuel Montembeault wins against the Stars
  • January 4: Jake Allen loses to the Sabres
  • January 6: Samuel Montembeault wins against the Rangers
  • January 10: Cayden Primeau loses shootout to Flyers
  • January 11: Samuel Montembeault loses to the Sharks
  • January 13: Samuel Montembeault loses (in overtime) to the Oilers
  • January 15: Jake Allen wins against the Avalanche
  • January 17: Samuel Montembeault wins against the Devils
  • January 18: Cayden Primeau loses to the Senators
  • January 20: Samuel Montembeault loses to the Bruins – and Cayden Primeau finishes the game
  • January 23: Jake Allen loses to the Senators
  • January 25: Samuel Montembeault wins against the Islanders
  • January 27: Jake Allen loses in overtime to the Penguins
  • February 6: Samuel Montembeault victory against the Capitals
In 17 games, Samuel Montembeault has made nine starts. His record is 5-3-1. Jake Allen is 1-3-1 in five starts (#Vitrine) and Cayden Primeau is 0-2-1 in four outings, including three starts.

And that’s when it hit me: Cayden Primeau hasn’t won a game since Christmas. His last win came on December 22, against the poor Chicago Blackhawks on the road.

(Credit: ESPN)

Prior to that, since the start of the season, he had never been involved in back-to-back losses. He always managed to bounce back from a tougher outing, which is a sign of consistency.

But since Christmas? Three defeats in a row in games where he is responsible for the club’s result. Of course, we’re not counting the game in Boston, where he came on in relief of Montembeault after eight goals.

The Carolina challenge certainly wasn’t easy, and against the Flyers, he was solely responsible for the club leaving Pennsylvania with a point in the bank. That said, against the Sens, he wasn’t up to the task.

Is having to wait between four and five games between each of his starts since the holidays playing on his mind? That’s one question. Does he have his coach’s confidence? Is he running out of steam? I don’t know.

But for a guy we used to call #2 goalie and who played one game out of three in the second quarter of the season, it’s not exactly the progression we’d hoped for, let’s face it.

I know Jake Allen isn’t attractive on the market, but the more time goes by, the more I tell myself that unless Kent Hughes receives an offer that lives up to his expectations, he won’t move Allen. And I don’t know who wants Allen right now…

By keeping the veteran in a non-bickering format, the Habs are protecting Primeau. And I have a feeling that’s what the club has been doing for a few weeks now.

That said, this weekend, Primeau should get a start. The Habs face the Stars and Blues.

In gossip

– The Coyotes file is endless.

– Vladimir Tarasenko changes agent.

– With good reason.

– Really?

– That’s right.

More Content