Canadian: Samuel Montembeault would like to stay with CH beyond the 2021/2022 season

BROSSARD, Qc — Samuel Montembeault hopes he’s done enough to extend his adventure with the Montreal Canadiens or elsewhere in the NHL.

The 25-year-old Quebec goaltender was in his first full season in the NHL after being acquired by the Canadiens from the Florida Panthers on Oct. 2.

General manager Marc Bergevin claimed at the time that Montembeault would serve as an insurance policy should Price ever run into difficulties with his rehabilitation following knee surgery over the summer.

Montembeault eventually appeared in 37 games that season, including 29 as a starter. If he played 65 minutes in the last two games of the season, he would join Jake Allen as the Habs’ most-used goalie this season.

He previously had just 19 starts in two campaigns with the Panthers.

“I had the chance to play a lot of games and I didn’t expect that,” admitted Montembeault. When the teams watched they had the opportunity to rate me, same goes for the organization here.

“I’ve had some ups and downs, but I’ve worked hard and made good progress. »

Montembeault remembered his first win with the Canadiens on November 20 at Bell Center against the Nashville Predators as one of the highlights of his campaign.

However, he has been struggling with a hand injury since January. Regarding this, he said that everything is fine at the moment, but the situation will be reassessed at the end of the season.

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Montembeault had the luxury of training at the highest level all season and playing against the best players in the world.

He mentioned in the last few weeks that he has changed his approach in goal a lot. He now stays a little closer to goal, which helps with his lateral movements.

“He makes a lot of saves from post to post,” said forward Josh Anderson. We saw him a few games ago, he was comfortable. »

Montembeault had particularly smoked on April 11 against the Winnipeg Jets. He had multiplied the spectacular stops thanks to beautiful movements.

“I’m happy with the direction things are going in,” said the Bécancourer native. I’ve made a lot of progress since the start of the season.

“On the other hand, I have to improve my consistency. When I was second goalkeeper it was fine, but when Jake was injured and I had to play more games, I had several good games, then there was one that hurt the statistics. »

Montembeault is 7-18-6 with a GAA of 3.79 and a save percentage of .892.

Although Montembeault’s stats aren’t particularly good, interim head coach Martin St-Louis expressed satisfaction with the Quebec goalkeeper’s work.

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“He showed he could play in the National League,” said St-Louis. I think his value as a goalkeeper increased and he took his chance. It wasn’t always easy, but he kept fighting. I tip my hat to him. »

Montembeault could become a free agent with compensation this summer if the Canadians decide to make him a qualifying offer. Montembeault reiterated that there had been no discussion between his side and the Canadian’s management over his future.

With the situation surrounding Price remaining uncertain, the Canadians will likely need depth at the net next fall. We should know in the coming weeks if Montembeault has done enough to be part of the Habs’ future plans. Otherwise, he hopes that another NHL team will give him the chance to continue his adventure in the hockey elite.

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