The NHL’s current goalie, Carey Price, has made history in the past couple of years.
He has been the league’s all-time leader in wins, shutouts, save percentage (.924), wins above replacement (WAR) and shutouts (527) and ranks fifth in the league in games started (1,902).
Price has been a leader for so long that many in the organization see him as the franchise’s leader heading into the next season.
The New York Rangers have been chasing Price since the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline, and they have been able to land the goalie to take the reins for the next few seasons.
In a perfect world, Price would be the No. 1 goalie in the NHL.
But as the trade deadline approached and he began to look like a long-shot, Price took the opportunity to prove to himself that he is worthy of a No. 2 job.
He put together a solid performance on Thursday night, stopping 24 shots and posting a 2.17 GAA and .921 save percentage in a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
“I just wanted to come in and compete,” Price said.
“We’ve been trying to figure out how we’re going to go out there and compete.
I felt good about what I was doing, I felt confident about what we were doing, and I’m just ready to go.”
Price said he’s not worried about whether he’ll get his number retired.
He knows it’s a long shot, but it’s not like he’s going to put a date on it.
“Not really,” Price told reporters.
“It’s not on my calendar right now, but you know what?
If I’m not good enough to be the guy that I want to be, then I’m going to retire.”
Price finished his season with a record of 25-13-6 with a 2,069-save percentage and a 2:07 GAA.
He also stopped 43 of 50 shots for a .915 save percentage.
Price is now just three wins shy of being the NHL’s record holder for most shutouts and is just two wins shy from being the second-most wins in the history of the league.
That record is held by former Boston Bruins goalie Ben Bishop who started his career with the team in 1979.
Price said that it was “very, very hard” to put together such a strong performance.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Price joked.
“Just getting out there, getting my teammates and just trying to keep my mind on the game and my teammates, and just try to put the puck in the net.
Just try to win as many games as I can.”
The Bruins are not without goaltending depth this season, but Price’s performances and his record have given him the nod.
The Rangers, however, will look to add a goaltender to their lineup this offseason.
The team is expected to bring in another goalie in free agency, and the Rangers are believed to be on the verge of signing goaltender Roberto Luongo to a one-year deal.
The veteran goalie is coming off a .923 save percentage, which was good enough for ninth in the entire NHL, and is coming into his first season with the Rangers after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade last year.
Luongo was traded to the Bruins for center Travis Moen and a second-round pick in 2018.