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Two goalies: a bizarre return to normalcy for the Canadiens
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

That’s it: the Canadiens are back to a two-goal formula. The Flanelle’s ménage à trois in front of the net is over, and it’s now up to Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau to hold down the fort.

And I don’t know about you, but it feels like a strange return to normal.

I know, I know: a hockey club normally has only two goalies. For as long as I’ve been watching hockey, I’ve seen teams that normally have an even number of goalies.

But it seems I’d gotten used to the three-goal system… and had even grown to like the system, which, let’s face it, everyone was a bit trapped in. After all, it kept the youngsters fresh… #StockholmSyndrome

Now, on the other hand, the Habs are able to move forward with a true two-goal system, something they could hardly do in October, for example. It’s able to give reps to goalies who deserve to play more.

Still, there’s a part of me that thinks playing less has helped Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau adapt to their new roles, but hey: that may not be the case either.

All the same, it’s important to get used to the two-person format again. They say the devil is in the details, and here’s one: we no longer have to wonder who the deputy will be on any given day.

But the most important thing at this point is the workload. The guys may have benefited from a little rest, but now it’s the end of the break and back to work.

Logically, we can expect to see Samuel Montembeault playing twice a week, but also Cayden Primeau getting at least one game a week between now and the end of the season.

I was analyzing the Canadiens’ schedule over the next few weeks, trying to figure out how Martin St-Louis will choose to go about things with his two goaltenders, and the conclusion I came to is this: the guys’ turn will come back often.

But in reality, it’s an optical illusion. Like I said, the return to normal is weird.


I’ll give you a specific example, but it’s like when you decide to listen to a song at 1.5 X speed on YouTube… before bringing it back to normal speed. Once at normal speed, it looks slower than usual.

Why does this happen? Because even if you know the song, recency bias makes you think it’s not the same as what you’ve just experienced.

It’s a bit the same with the Habs goalies. Those who follow the Habs on a daily basis know that the three-goal rotation meant that the guys didn’t come around that often.

But now, with two goalies, it won’t be the same. And that’s as much for the workload as for the dynamic between the boys.

Looking at the week’s schedule, it’s safe to assume that Montembeault will face the Bruins at home on Thursday. Will he play Tuesday at home against Columbus or Saturday on the road in Calgary? I’d play Primeau tomorrow and Monty on Saturday, but the reverse is possible.

And that’s where Montembeault’s workload will increase. After all, having played the last two games, it’s safe to assume that he’ll play four out of five games between March 7 and 16.

Not something we’re used to, of course. That said, everyone’s looking forward to seeing how the Quebecer performs between now and the end of the season.

It’s also worth noting that this is the first time in a long time that the Canadiens’ regular goaltending duo is so young. After all, with Jake Allen and Carey Price in recent years, there was always at least one veteran in place.

In bursts

– On Saturday, the DLC team was in Trois-Rivières. Thanks to the Lions for the invitation and the warm welcome.

– Messi is the talk of the town.

– He’s excellent.

– Really.

– Interesting stuff.

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