On Monday, Carey Price hit the ice for the first time since returning from his leave of absence.
In a Wednesday press conference, Montreal Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme confirmed that the goalie, who entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program on October 7, was making positive strides.
Dominique Ducharme répond aux questions des médias en direct du Complexe sportif Bell.
Dominique Ducharme is taking questions from reporters live at Bell Sports Complex.#GoHabsGo https://t.co/1uqhC64777
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) November 17, 2021
“Carey went on the ice a couple of days ago, so he’s doing better, and he’s on the program there,” Ducharme said to the media. “He’s following the plan.”
After addressing the status of Price’s recovery, Ducharme also provided updates on the injuries of Paul Byron and Joel Edmundson.
Price, who admitted he was treated for substance abuse, skated alone while the Canadiens were away on a road trip. He also met with the team’s trainers to examine his knee, which was operated on earlier this year.
While things seem to be looking up for the goalie, a full return to the team is still uncertain as per his last statement on the matter. “I am working through years of neglecting my own mental health, which will take some time to repair; all I can do is take it day by day,” Price said. “With that comes some uncertainty with when I will return to play.”
The last time we saw the 34-year-old in a Canadiens uniform was during Montreal’s miraculous run to the Stanley Cup final. During the postseason, Price posted a 2.28 goals-against average, .924 save percentage over 22 playoff games.
Meanwhile, the regular season has seemingly gotten off on the wrong foot for last year’s Clarence Campbell Trophy winners, who have only won four of their first 18 games.
An injury to backup Jake Allen, who assumed the role of starter in Price’s absence, has left Montreal with a tandem of 25-year-old Samuel Montembeault (3.77 GAA, .890 SV%) and Cayden Primeau, who was recently called up from the Laval Rocket.
Both goalies have yet to win a game with the Canadiens this season.