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I don't think so. The Habs have some solid pieces but I don't think their offense is near good enough to carry the sub par goaltending they get from Ben Scrivens and Mike Condon on an almost nightly basis.
The Habs have also played more games than the wild card teams and are five and six points out. I can't see them making up that kind of difference without Price.
No. I don't think it happens
They have relied so heavily upon him and it has kind of masked their struggles over recent years. Their only saving grace could potentially be Boston falling out out of the race.
They have to find another gear offensively if they want to make up for the goalie tandem that is Mike Condon and Ben Scrivens. They are 18th in the league in even strength scoring chances against and 21st in On-Ice Save Percentage. Games may basically have to end up being track meets for them to win most nights, and I'm not sure they have the horses to do that.
If I was to ignore the standings and just look at stats and rosters, I think that the best teams in the East are Washington, Tampa, Pittsburgh, the Islanders and the Canadiens, maybe even the Hurricanes.
So there are a lot of teams that are worse than Montreal that stand between them and a Playoff spot. Price or not, they have a good team and part of their losing streak was fueled by terrible luck.
They could acquire a better goalie and reasonably expect that they could play catch two of the teams ahead of them. Goalies aside, Montreal has a much better roster than any team in the Atlantic save Tampa so they can make it.
Will they? Its improbable, but more likely than I assume most people think, because the losing streak just re-inforced the false narrative that the Canadiens are a crap team with a good goalie, but this couldn't be further from the truth.
It's going to take more than Carey Price for the Habs to make the playoffs. Good goaltending covers problems and great goaltending makes them invisible and that's what Price was doing- the latter. There are fundamental player usage problems, systems and talent issues for the Habs and Price's injury only exacerbates them. Fire a few guys off at the deadline embrace the tank and hope you get a top five pick and come back stronger next year.
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