There’s no doubt that Carey Price is one of the best goaltenders to play in the NHL. After being drafted fifth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, he began his professional career with the Habs in the 2007-08 season and has been there ever since, getting better as each year passes.
The 2014-15 season was definitely the best for Price, as he ranked first overall among all NHL goaltenders (who have played at least 25 regular season games) with a .933 save percentage and a 1.96 goals against average. He also topped the list with a very impressive 44 wins (including 9 shutouts) in 66 games played. In addition to a fantastic season, he was also awarded with several trophies:
-The Vezina Trophy which is awarded to the best goaltender of the regular season.
-The Ted Lindsay Award which is given to the “most outstanding player” in the league.
-The William M. Jennings Trophy which is awarded to the goaltender who played at least 25 regular season games and had the lowest number of goals scored against him.
-The Hart Memorial Trophy which is given to the most valuable player in the league. Even the best goaltenders have to rely on the rest of their team, specifically their defensemen.
Here is a list of the 8 best and 7 worst defensemen that Carey Price had to play behind.
15. BEST: Francis Bouillon
Francis Bouillon has certainly had an impact with the Montreal Canadiens. The 5’8, 195 pound defenseman was small in stature, but played like an ox. The New York native went undrafted, but did earn a spot with the Canadiens in 1999 and spent a total of eleven seasons with them, playing 581 regular season games and recording 117 points (24 goals, 93 assists).
Since Carey Price began his career with the Canadiens in 2007-08, Bouillon played 228 games with them. In those games, he blocked 291 shots and had 53 takeaways, which certainly helped out his net minder. And with just 169 penalty minutes in 228 games, he didn’t put too much pressure on his goaltender to play while a man down.
14. WORST: Yannick Weber
Originally from Switzerland, the 5’11, 200 pound defenseman was drafted 73rd overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He spent the first five seasons of his professional career with the Montreal Canadiens, playing 115 regular season games and earning 32 points (5 goals, 27 assists) between 2008-09 and 2012-13.
In those 115 games, he only had 88 blocked shots, along with 79 giveaways, making him not much help to his goaltender. He also had a -14 plus/minus rating, meaning he was on the ice for many of the goals scored against the Canadiens. In fact, four of the five seasons he spent with the Canadiens, he finished with a plus/minus in the negatives, with one season being an even 0 rating.
13. BEST: Alexei Emelin
At 6’2 and 218 pounds, Alexei Emelin was drafted 84th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He began his NHL career with the Canadiens in 2011 and is still currently on their roster.
Emelin has certainly been a great help playing in front of Carey Price. This hard hitting Russian defenseman isn’t afraid to throw his body around, racking up an incredible 1,109 hits which gives him a huge lead (almost double the amount of the second highest) among all Habs defensemen who have played since 2007. He also has 547 blocked shots. He’s not a huge scorer, but he does have 66 points (13 goals, 53 assists) in 335 regular season games, along with 289 penalty minutes and a -10 plus/minus rating.
12. WORST: Mark Streit
Measuring at 5’11 and 191 pounds, Mark Streit was drafted 262nd overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. The Swiss defenseman spent the first three years of his NHL career with the Canadiens from 2005-06 until 2007-08. It was only during his last season with the team that he had the opportunity to play in front of Carey Price.
Although he put up fantastic numbers on the scoreboard that season with 13 goals (including 7 that were scored on the power play) and 49 assists in 81 games, he was less than helpful when it came to defending his goaltender. He only had 62 blocked shots and 59 hits, which averages to less than one per game, in addition to a -6 plus/minus rating.
11. BEST: Josh Gorges
Despite the British Columbia native being undrafted, Josh Gorges was signed by the San Jose Sharks and played his first two NHL seasons with them. The 6’1, 204 pound defenseman then headed to Montreal in 2007 and remained with them until 2014. He only played seven games in the season prior to Carey Price joining the team. With Price playing full time for the Canadiens, Gorges put up incredible numbers with 88 points (13 goals, 75 assists) and 310 shots on goal while averaging over 20 minutes of on-ice time in 457 games.
In regards to helping out his goaltender, he delivered 606 hits and leads all Habs defenseman since 2007-08 to the present day with an incredible 1,042 blocked shots. He is also tied for first place among those same defensemen with a very impressive +35 plus/minus rating.
10. WORST: Patrice Brisebois
This Montreal native was drafted by his home team 30th overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. This 6’2, 197 pound defenseman spent the first fourteen years of the career with the Montreal Canadiens, helping them win their final Stanley Cup to date in 1993. He then spent the next two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche. He did, however, return to the Canadiens to finish off the last two seasons of his career before retiring in 2009.
Carey Price was goaltending when Brisebois had his last stint with the Canadiens. Although the beginning of his career was very impressive, by the time he had to play in front of Price, it was obvious that Brisebois was at the end of his playing career. His final two seasons totalled 105 games played with 29 points (8 goals, 21 assists), along with a -5 plus/minus rating. He also averaged just one blocked shot per game.
9. BEST: Hal Gill
Measuring at a massive 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 243 pounds, the Massachusetts native was certainly a giant on the ice. Drafted 207th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, he played several years with the Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Pittsburgh Penguins before joining the Montreal Canadiens for the 2009-10 season. He remained with the Canadiens until being traded to the Nashville Predators in February of 2012.
During his time with the Canadiens, he played 196 games with them and recorded 28 points (5 goals, 23 assists). Although his plus/minus rating was a disappointing -26, he certainly helped out his goaltender in other areas, specifically with 423 blocked shots. He also wasn’t afraid to use his huge size to his advantage by delivering 205 hits, and still only tallying 140 penalty minutes, including four majors.
8. WORST: Ryan O’Byrne
Originally from British Columbia, Ryan O’Byrne was drafted 79th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He’s definitely not lacking size measuring at 6’5 and 234 pounds. He spent three seasons with the Canadiens from 2007 until he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in November of 2010.
During his time with the Canadiens, he played 128 games and tallied 272 hits, along with 207 blocked shots. Although those numbers aren’t terrible, he was unimpressive in other areas, specifically when it came to being punished by the referees. In just 128 games, he racked up181 penalty minutes, including 11 majors, which ranks him tied for the most majors since 2007. He spent way too much time in the penalty box, considering he only averaged less than 15 minutes of on-ice time per game.
He also caused a lot of controversy when he, along with his teammate at the time, Tom Kostopoulos, were arrested outside a Florida nightclub in February of 2008. Apparently, O’Byrne was accused of stealing a woman’s purse, but the charges were later dropped.
7. BEST: Mike Komisarek
Mike Komisarek was drafted seventh overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He spent the first six seasons of his NHL career with the Canadiens from 2002-03 until 2008-09, earning 58 points (12 goals, 46 assists), a +13 plus/minus rating, and racking up 496 penalty minutes.
He and Price played together during his last two seasons with the team. This 6’4, 235 pound New York native was not afraid to throw his body around, recording 457 hits and 434 blocked shots during his last two seasons, averaging out to over three of each per game. He also wasn’t afraid to defend his teammates, tallying 222 penalty minutes, including 6 majors, but still managed to keep a +9 plus/minus rating.
6. WORST: Tomas Kaberle
Tomas Kaberle is a 6’1, 212 pound defenseman who is originally from the Czech Republic. He was drafted 204th overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He spent the first twelve seasons of his NHL career with the Leafs until being traded to the Boston Bruins in 2011. After finishing the season with the Bruins, he began the 2011-12 season with the Carolina Hurricanes before getting traded to the Montreal Canadiens in December of 2011.
He played a total of 53 games with the Canadiens between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, recording 25 points (3 goals, 22 assists), a -2 plus/minus rating, and just 10 penalty minutes. However, he wasn’t overly helpful protecting his goaltender, recording low numbers in hits (14) and blocked shots (64).
It was pretty obvious that Kaberle was at the end of his NHL career when he played with the Canadiens, but spent the following couple of seasons playing overseas before announcing his retirement in 2016.
5. BEST: Andrei Markov
After being drafted 162nd overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, he has spent his entire career so far with them. The 6 feet tall, 200 pound Russian defenseman began his career in the year 2000 and has so far accumulated 115 goals (including 59 on the power play) and 442 assists for a total of 557 points in 959 regular season games. He also has a very impressive +53 plus/minus rating.
Since Carey Price joined the league in 2007-08, he has had Markov in front of his net for his entire career thus far. And what a job Markov has done protecting his net minder, as he is ranked first among all Canadiens defensemen in the past ten seasons with 310 takeaways and is listed second overall with 898 blocked shots. He is also leading the group with 350 points and is ranked second with a +34 plus/minus rating in 548 games since 2007.
4. WORST: Jarred Tinordi
Jarred Tinordi was drafted 22nd overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. The huge 6’6, 230 pound Minnesota native played a total of 46 regular season games with the Canadiens between 2013 and 2015, recording just 6 assists and a -5 plus/minus rating.
He wasn’t overly helpful in front of the goalie net, as he spent more minutes in the penalty box than number of games played – 46 games, 66 penalty minutes. He wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves, as he did manage to get eight majors. And that’s averaging just over 13 minutes of on-ice time per game. He did, however, deliver 81 hits and had 55 blocked shots, but was disappointing with 18 giveaways and only one takeaway.
3. BEST: Shea Weber
Drafted 49th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by Nashville, the 6’4, 232 pound defenseman spent the first eleven seasons with the Predators and also served as their captain. The British Columbia native was involved in one of the biggest trades of the year when he was sent over to the Montreal Canadiens in June of 2016 in exchange for another star defenseman, P.K. Subban.
Although he’s only in his first season with the Canadiens, he is sure making a name for himself with 8 goals (7 of which were scored on the power play) and 10 assists in just 31 games so far. He also has the highest number of shots on goal among his team’s defensemen with 79 shots. His +18 plus/minus rating ranks him second overall among all NHL defensemen.
In addition to being a great addition to the score sheet, he is also a huge help to his goaltender, ranking first among Canadiens defensemen with 66 blocked shots and is in second place with 66 hits.
2. WORST: Mark Barberio
Mark Barberio was drafted 152nd overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 6’1, 207 pound defenseman spent three seasons with the Lightning before signing a one-year, two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens in 2015.
The Montreal native can’t seem to earn a permanent spot with the Canadiens, having played a total of just 37 regular season games since last season, registering 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists), 10 penalty minutes, and a +2 plus/minus rating. He also doesn’t see much ice time with an average of just over fourteen and a half minutes per game, which is probably a good thing for his net minder, as he only has 14 hits and 24 blocked shots.
1. BEST: P.K. Subban
P.K. Subban is definitely one of the most memorable and accomplished defenseman to have played in front of Carey Price. The 6 feet tall, 210 pound Ontario native was drafted 43rd overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens.
He spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Canadiens, producing 278 points (63 goals, 215 assists) in 434 games, which ranks him second in points among his team’s defensemen since Price joined the league in 2007.
Here are other categories where he ranks in the top three among his fellow defensemen in the last ten seasons:
First place with 1,082 shots on goal.
Tied for first place with a +35 rating.
Second place with 35 power play goals.
Second place with 153 takeaways.
Second place with an average of 24:33 of on-ice time per game.
Third place with 601 hits.
It’s also worth mentioning that he’s ranked fourth with 617 blocked shots.
In 2013, he was awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy which is given each year to the greatest defenseman in the league during the regular season.
Subban was involved in the shocking trade in June of 2016 when he was sent to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Shea Weber.
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