Cayden Primeau will get the start against the Sabres, David Savard will not make the trip

Martin St-Louis has confirmed the identity of his starting goaltender for the visit against the Sabers on Saturday in Buffalo. After two starts in a row for Samuel Montembeault, Cayden Primeau will have the mandate to slow down the Sabres’ attack.

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In his last outing on November 30 at the Bell Centre, Primeau did not look good in a 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. He had allowed his five goals on the glove side.

Primeau will therefore seek to redeem himself against the Tage Thompson gang.

There was a scene that made sense after the optional practice before the team left for upstate New York. Jake Allen was the only one who hadn’t put his goalie gear away.

The New Brunswicker will obviously remain in Montreal to work with Éric Raymond in order to concentrate for the visit of the Nashville Predators on Sunday at the Bell Centre.

“I don’t have the start in Buffalo. I can just say that.”

Allen didn’t have it in his face when he said this phrase in his first response to the media. But if you read between the lines even slightly, the presence of three goalkeepers begins to weigh on his shoulders.

“No, I don’t find that [difficile], he explained. But it’s the same question we’ve been asked since the start of the year about the three-goalie rotation. Same goes for Sam and Cayden. There are three guards. Sam is playing very well and he deserved the two starts in a row. For my part, I must wait and I will wait for my chance. I remain professional and I keep myself ready.”

Declining numbers

In October, Allen had a lot of success with a 3-0-1 record, a 2.63 GAA and a .930 save percentage. However, it has been day and night since then. The number 34 has lost his last six games (0-5-1) and he now has an astronomical average of 4.63 and an efficiency percentage of .871.

He hasn’t won since October 28 (4-3 against the Jets).

Asked whether the three-goalie rotation could negatively influence his performance, Allen logically avoided the trap.

“I don’t want to use that as an excuse,” he replied. I have to be ready when I get a start. There are defensemen or forwards who may not play for seven or ten games and they have to come back into the lineup. They find ways to play well. I need to stay alert. But in a season, there are always ups and downs.

“There is no longer a single goalie who plays 65 games or more,” he continued. The trend is to share the work for the guards. The Canadian is not the only team with three goalies. Teams that have a Vasilevskiy, Shesterkin or Hellebuyck will use their number one more, but they remain rare. Several teams rely on a duo. I would say that the figure 50 is now high for the quantity of departures.

Without Savard

David Savard, for his part, did not make the trip with his teammates to Buffalo. He has still not received the green light from doctors to return to play.

Savard, who fractured his left hand on October 23 against the Sabers in Buffalo, once again participated in his team’s training. He could return to action Sunday against the Predators.

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