The Canadiens sit three points out of a playoff spot with a 27-24-4 record, and are still undefined as a playoff contender. One of the big reasons why that’s the case is the status of Carey Price.
His MCL injury has caused the Canadiens to falter, but as bad as Montreal can be, with Price in the lineup they at the very least be a competitive playoff team. There may be bad news for fans anticipating his return as Richard Labbe of La Presse reports the Habs may have given up hopes he can return this season.
Sources say team is no longer hoping for his return to action, as Price has been out since November with right knee injury, still not confirmed by team. At this point, the optimistic scenario appears to be for Price to return by season’s end, maybe in time for playoffs, if the team can make it that far in April.
Labbe has a source which tells him the Canadiens are wondering if it’s worth it to try push Price back into action.
They can’s say that publicly, they want to keep any hopes alive, however small. They don’t want fans to quit on their team. There is a marketing element to this.”
Montreal head coach Michel Therrien called the reports speculation but admitted Price’s injury was taking more time than the organization expected.
“There’s going to be a lot of speculation,” Therrien said after the team’s morning skate ahead of its game Friday night against the Buffalo Sabres. “We know what’s going on with Carey.
“It’s taking more time than we expected, but he’s working extremely hard and putting in a lot of hours to make sure he makes a comeback. And it’s not to make sure he looks good this summer on the beach. It’s to come back and play for the Montreal Canadiens.”
That’s not exactly a denial.