Opinion: Time To See More of Canadiens’ Montembeault in Goal This Upcoming Season

Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

With the Montreal Canadiens being in the Atlantic Division, there is no doubt that this year could end up being a long season for them.

We know teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Boston Bruins should all make the Stanley Cup playoffs. The much-improved Ottawa Senators, the Buffalo Sabres, and the Detroit Red Wings are behind those teams fighting for a spot.

As such, the Canadiens will more than likely be on the outside looking in for another season, which is more than understandable. The Canadiens are still a very young hockey club that has a lot to learn under the tutelage of head coach Martin St. Louis.

With that in mind, there is one player in particular that I would like to see start a lot of games this season. That one player is goaltender Sam Montembeault.

For starters, I believe that Montembeault, 26, can put up better numbers than his goaltending partner, Jake Allen, which is something he accomplished last season.

The two netminders split last season, and Montembeault came out on top by putting up somewhat decent numbers behind a very leaky Canadiens defense. He finished the season with a 16-19-0-3 record to go along with a 3.42 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage.

Allen, 33, on the other hand, struggled mightily last season. He had a 15-24-0-3 record to go along with a 3.55 goals-against average, a .891 save percentage, and one shutout.

Secondly, Montembeault is going to be entering his prime as he turns 27 on October 30. The franchise should use this time to see what they have in him and see if he can potentially be their goaltender of the future.

Allen is not getting any younger. Yes, he is more than serviceable, but as a goaltender, the Canadiens and the rest of the NHL know what they are getting with him. The same cannot be said of Montembeault.

Lastly, what do the Canadiens have to lose at this point? They are not going to make the playoffs, so why not make Montembeault the starter and see how he handles the role?

Heck, Montembeault may surprise everyone by showing that he can be the Canadiens’ starter moving forward. That would be a win-win for everyone.

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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