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Carey Price gets thunderous ovation from Canadiens fans in season debut

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Carey Price made his long-awaited debut on Friday night, and Montreal Canadiens fans were ready for the moment.

The Montreal faithful gave the 34-year-old a roaring ovation prior to puck-drop of their game versus the New York Islanders.

He ended up surrendering two goals on 19 shots as the Canadiens fell to the Islanders, but just getting back on the ice represented a win.

The past year has been a major whirlwind for Price. Last season, he was able to lead the Canadiens all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, playing some of the best hockey we had ever seen from him. While things were going well for him on ice, things away from the rink weren’t quite as positive.

Prior to the beginning of the 2021-22 season, Price voluntarily entered the NHL’s player assistance program, and has since revealed that he had a substance use problem. By all accounts, he has been doing much better since completing the program, though offseason knee surgery continued to prevent him from returning to the crease prior to Friday.

Carey Price was feeling the love from Canadiens fans in his season debut on Friday. (Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Carey Price was feeling the love from Canadiens fans in his season debut on Friday. (Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Given how much time he has missed, it may take Price a while to get back to his top form. Regardless, it is great to see him back on the ice, and these final few games should serve as a great tune-up for him to prepare for the 2022-23 campaign — one that could be much more successful for the Habs if he is able to get back to an elite level.

In 2020-21, Price had a down season from what we are accustomed to seeing from him, recording a 2.64 goals-against average (GAA) along with a .901 save percentage (SV%) in 25 games. He returned to form during the playoffs, posting a spectacular 2.28 GAA and a .924 SV% in 22 starts.

Based on Friday's warm ovation, it is very evident just how much love the Habs fanbase has for Price. If he is able to get back to the level he was at in last year's playoffs, that love will grow even more.

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