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Goalkeeper Debate #1: Samuel Montembeault (finally) publicly rewarded
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

At the start of the season, Jake Allen was clearly the Canadiens’ #1 goaltender. Martin St-Louis trusted him because (among other things) he was the veteran of the group and the other two hadn’t proven anything.

Then, as the games progressed, it became clear that the #1 goalie was Samuel Montembeault.

But the longer the season went on, the clearer it became that Montembeault was the goalie you could trust. He had the big duels and the biggest workload.

But did he have the title officially? Not publicly, at least. Martin St-Louis never wanted to say out loud that his #1 goalie was Montembeault, and he was on guard about it.

We wondered what the Habs were waiting for, both before and after the Jake Allen deal, to confirm it.

But this morning, on the bangs of the management review, Kent Hughes confirmed that, over the course of the year, the Quebecer has shown himself to be capable of playing at the level of a #1 goaltender.

And just like that, the goalie finally got a vote of confidence.

Does this mean the goalie will be the undisputed #1 for the rest of the season? Not necessarily. After all, he can’t sit on his laurels for the rest of his career.

The GM has said it: he doesn’t want any player to be afraid of taking the chair above him. That’s true for Cayden Primeau and the goalies, but it’s true for everyone. He gave the example of Kirby Dach with Nick Suzuki as first center.

Montembeault, who was sad to lose Allen, will have to be ready for the next camp. After all, if he gets passed by Primeau, it’ll be his fault. And he certainly doesn’t want that.

Still on the subject of Montembeault, the goalie has decided not to represent Canada at the World Championship. He’s received the invitation, but he won’t be going.

This could have helped him secure a place at the 2025 (Tournament of Nations) and 2026 (Olympic Games) events, but he obviously chose not to go.

Nick Suzuki (Canada) is undecided and Juraj Slafkovsky (Slovakia) is undecided. As for Cole Caufield, he’ll be representing the United States.

In a gust

– Good words.

– He’s more appreciated by the fans, in any case.

– Yes.

– Nick Suzuki wants to make the playoffs next year.

– The Bruins are 4-0 this year against the Maple Leafs.

– He’s staying in Columbus.

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