MONCTON, N.B. - Carey Price's former goaltending coach says the Montreal Canadiens netminder has become progressively worse over the last few seasons due to bad guidance.
Roland Melanson, who is the current goaltending coach with the Vancouver Canucks, told L'Acadie Nouvelle—a French daily newspaper in New Brunswick—that Price has been in decline since Melanson left Montreal in 2009.
"Carey hasn't stopped deteriorating since I left. He's all over the place now," said Melanson in a report posted Monday. "At some point, there has to be some accountability in the school yard. The position requires a lot of work and Carey hasn't been consistent. He let things slide in practice and it caught up to him during games.”
Despite finishing the regular season first in the Northeast Division, Price and the Canadiens struggled down the stretch. The 25-year-old was pulled from back-to-back starts and went 2-6-0 in his last eight appearances, allowing 27 goals.
Price's woes continued in the first round of playoffs as Montreal was eliminated in five games by Ottawa. Backup Peter Budaj started Game 5 and allowed six goals.
Last week the Canadiens fired Melanson's successor, goaltending coach Pierre Groulx—the only member of the coaching staff kept on when Michel Therrien was named head coach for the 2012-13 season.
According to Melanson, Groulx allowed Price to develop bad habits.
"He wanted to be his friend. A goalie doesn't want you to be his friend—he wants results. You're not there to be his friend."