The outbreak of Montembeault: the Quebec goalkeeper has made giant strides this season

The outbreak of Montembeault: the Quebec goalkeeper has taken steps of giant this season


“We have made great strides forward this season. On the individual side, the development that we have been able to do with certain players allows us to have more information for next year. It's encouraging. » 

Listening to Martin St-Louis project his team into the future, we obviously think of Cole Caufield, the next superstar of the team. Or Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris and Arber Xhekaj, who should form a strong core of the team's defense. The name of Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, author of 14 goals in just 32 games, also comes to mind.

Perhaps because he has been around for a little longer or because he is not a product of the organization's draft, we tend to forget Samuel Montembeault.

Yet , if anyone has made giant strides this season, it's him.

With six games left on the schedule, the 26-year-old goaltender will possibly play the same number of games than last season (38). Statistically, however, it's night and day.

He already has 15 wins on the clock, which is almost double his best harvest (8). What's more, he could end the season with a save percentage above .900 for the first time in his career. >

“I'm happy with my progress,” he said at the end of the Canadiens' training. At the start of the season, I expressed my desire to show more consistency. I think it was much better. »

Now number one?

At certain times during the winter, the head coach of the Canadiens insisted on specifying that Jake Allen was his number one goalkeeper. A title that has not yet been officially withdrawn.

However, the Quebecer is seeing action like never before. He's been sent into the fray in six of the last 10 games, even getting five consecutive starts. Unheard of for him with healthy Allen.

” I am really happy. Especially since at the start of the year, there was consistency: two games for him, one game for me, he recalled. Since his injury, I play more. It helped my progress. »

We also feel more confident in front of his net. The ardor he puts into work when he walks the rink with Éric Raymond, the goalkeeper coach, certainly has something to do with it.

That said, we can also wonder if having a contract valid for two seasons in his pocket, for the first time in his career, did not allow him to stop pucks with less stress on his shoulders.

“We are coming to the end of the year and I'm just beginning to think about it. On the other hand, I realize that this summer, I will simply have to concentrate on my preparation. It's nice to have support for two seasons. »

A mutual pleasure on the part of Kent Hughes. Because this hatching could allow him to explore certain avenues. Like that of being able, if the moment seems right for him one day, to compromise the services of Allen, whose salary footprint will increase from $2.875 million to $3.85 million next season.