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Montreal Canadiens goaltender Samuel Montembeault
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‘They won't win with Montembeault': concerning statement emerges

Published April 14, 2024 at 8:58 PM
By: AARON ITOVITCH
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Aaron Itovitch
April 14, 2024  (8:58 PM)
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During an appearance on 98.5 FM, Stéphane Waite, the former goaltending coach for the Montreal Canadiens, made a significant statement about the current goalkeepers of the club.

According to him, Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau can lead the CH to the playoffs one day, but not necessarily win the team a championship in the playoffs.

He even added:

I think they will make a good duo, but that's it. They will be in the second tier (of NHL teams). – Stéphane Waite



Hockey is a team game, which is common knowledge. A team game means relying on your teammates to reach the highest peaks. Obviously, some teammates stand out based on their importance and talent, but each must rely on the others to achieve the highest levels.

For the CH and the leadership, the past few decades have somewhat overshadowed this definition of team play. The culprits: Price, Roy, and Theodore, at another level.

For example, Patrick Roy won the Stanley Cup twice with the Tricolore, and he easily won the Conn Smythe Trophy during those two conquests. This shows the significant impact he had on the Canadiens' success during that period.

Regarding Carey Price, we all remember how he was recognized as the heart and soul of the team from his first steps in the NHL. He was seen as the next savior. Although Price did not manage to bring the Stanley Cup to Montreal, he did carry this very ordinary team to the finals in 2021. Without Price, the team would never have gone that far.

Another standout goaltender was José Théodore. In 2001-2002, he won the Hart Trophy awarded to the most valuable player to his team, again with a very ordinary team. At that time, Yannick Perreault was the top scorer of the club with 56 points in 84 games, and top goal scorer with 27 goals. This demonstrates the lack of depth of that team, without taking anything away from Perreault.

Another important aspect that shows times have changed is that from 1983 to 2003, 8 goaltenders won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Out of these, two goaltenders won the trophy on a losing team. This demonstrates the importance goaltenders had at that time.

Over the past ten years, only Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning has won the title of the best player in the playoffs with an offensively talented team. One might joke that the Lightning could have won the cup with a traffic cone in goal, and I am barely exaggerating.

Jokes aside. In recent years, teams that have won the Stanley Cup were talented offensively with a good defense, and a good goaltender.

This is to illustrate that goaltenders no longer hold as significant a place in a team's success. With a well-balanced and somewhat talented team, a team can very well reach the promised land as mentioned in the article.

However, I agree with Stéphane Waite. With the team in front of Montembault and Primeau at the moment and in the near future, the CH will need a version of Patrick Roy to achieve even a modicum of success. If the culture remains, and talent is not present on the ice, Waite is probably right...

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14 APRIL   |   163 ANSWERS
‘They won't win with Montembeault': concerning statement emerges

Do you think Montembeault-Primeau can be an above average duo?

Yes11168.1 %
No5231.9 %
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