At this point, another significant injury for the Montreal Canadiens is like salt in a wound that’s already been treated by lemon juice and paper cuts.
Brian Gionta’s down for the playoffs after surgery on his left arm. Ryan White and Brandon Prust were injured in their first-round series against the Ottawa Senators. Lars Eller was last seen bleeding all over the ice after an Eric Gryba hit.
Now, and perhaps most significantly, it’s Carey Price that’s down and out of the Senators’ series, with Ottawa having pushed Montreal to the brink of elimination. The Habs announced that their starting goalie will not return to the Ottawa series due to a lower body injury (a hip or a groin, from the looks of it).
So it’s Peter Budaj time.
Budaj played in overtime of Game 4, after Price was injured on the final shot of regulation. He surrendered the game-winning goal to Kyle Turris on the second shot he faced.
He was 8-1-0 in 13 appearances this season, with a 2.28 GAA and a .908 save percentage. He faced Ottawa once and gave up five goals on 27 shots.
Yet the Sens were saying all the right things about Budaj on Wednesday. From the Ottawa Citizen:
Yet the Senators coaching staff and players insist they aren't going to change their game plan based on which goaltender is in the net. "They have two good goalies," said defenceman Erik Karlsson. "Carey is their No. 1 guy, but I think they have full confidence in their second guy, too.
"We have to approach him the same way we approached Carey."
Budaj’s playoff experience: Five games, 0-1 with a 4.00 GAA and an .887 saver percentage. But in fairness, his only regular work came in 2007-08 with the Colorado Avalanche.
What a weird postseason for goalies. Niklas Backstrom gets injured during warmups in Game 1, and then Josh Harding gets injured in Game 4 for the Wild. Marc-Andre Fleury gets yanked from the Penguins’ series against the Islanders. And now Price goes down.