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Looking Ahead: Keith Kinkaid

August 20, 2019, 3:00 PM ET [425 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
It was anything but a surprise to see Bergevin ink a new back-up goaltender on July 1st and it wasn't surprising that it was Kinkaid either. Why? Well for one thing, the free agency class goaltender wise really wasn't all that deep. I mean the Habs were hardly going to go after Sergei Bobrovsky when they've got Carey Price under contract for 7 more years and they needed a back-up who could lighten Price's workload. In both of the last two seasons, Kinkaid has featured in 41 games meaning that he shared the work evenly with his partner (mainly Corey Schneider) in New Jersey. Don't panic, nobody wants Kinkaid to be between the Canadiens' posts for 41 games this upcoming season but if he can handle between 22-25 games which would mean that Price would play in 57 to 60 contest, that would be just great.

Don't get me wrong, I love Carey Price and when he's on his game he really is on top of the world but the fact is that he's not getting any younger and he's had his share of lower body injuries in the last few years. Furthermore, if you want to go deep in the playoffs, it's always a good idea to have a rested goaltender. Take last season's final for instance, Tuukka Rask played every single playoffs game for the Bruins but he had only played in 46 contests during the regular season (yes I know he was off a short while for personal reasons but still)...as for Jordan Binnington, he had played 32 regular season games with the Blues and 16 with the Rampage in the AHL for a total of 48 games. If you check the leaders in the 2 main statistical categories goalie wise (goal against average and save percentage) you'll see that they were hardly workhorses.

The question is though, can Kinkaid handle those 22-25 games and give the Canadiens a chance to win said games? While his stats haven't been trending the right way in the last few years, it's worth remembering how much of a mess Antti Niemi was when the Canadiens picked him off on waivers and how StΓ©phane Waite helped him find his former self, even if it was only for a time. But while Niemi was pretty much at the end of the line at 35 years old, Kinkaid only just turned 30 and should have plenty of life left into him.



Stats wise, Kinkaid is coming off his worst season with a 3.36 GAA and a .891 save percentage...Those numbers would not be sufficient to give the Canadiens a fair chance to win the games he's playing but perhaps with a lot of work with Waite and with fewer than 41 games, the stats will improve. One thing is for sure though, Kinkaid appears to have a strong Twitter game:



While I'm not entirely sure he will be the solution, it was worth taking a shot with him on this one year deal and after that well, Primeau, McNiven and Lindgren will have matured and will be waiting in the wings.
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