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The priority was clear then, get Price some rest. The Canadiens haven’t had a strong backup goaltender in years, so general manager Marc Bergevin remedied that by acquiring Allen.
Allen has a large annual cap hit (US$4.35 million) for a goalie that isn’t expected to play more than 30 games in a full 82-game season, but he has proven to be at least a league-average goalie, which is very strong for a backup — and that will allow the coaching staff to trust him to win some games. During the last two seasons, Canadiens backups have won just 12 of the 34 games they’ve started. Going back four seasons, the backups won only 36 games in 90 starts. No wonder Habs head coach Claude Julien turns to Price every chance he can.
During the last four seasons, the Canadiens’ assortment of backups — Al Montoya, Antti Niemi, Charlie Lindgren and Keith Kinkaid — had a combined 90.53 save percentage, while the league average in that time was 91.1 per cent. Over the 2,809 shots they’ve collectively faced, that’s nearly 17 extra goals against.