Montreal Canadiens G Charlie Lindgren Wins NHL Debut
The Montreal Canadiens announced on April 30 that the team had agreed to terms on a two-year contract with free agent NCAA goaltender Charlie Lindgren.
Lindgren just completed his third season with the St. Cloud State Huskies, and an impressive season it was. The 6’2 netminder boasted a 30-9-1 record, 2.13 GAA. .925 Sv%, and 5 shutouts. Those gaudy numbers ranked him first in the NCHC in wins, saves, and shutouts (T-2 others).
He finished his career with a rock solid 51-29-3 record, 2.21 GAA, .921 Sv% and 8 shutouts.
His team’s made it to the NCAA tournament every year Lindgren was guarding the paint, and was 2016’s NCHC Frozen Faceoff champion.
They say the difference between a starting and backup goaltender is their ability to maintain peak performance, so with 2,342 minutes played this season alone Lindgren has certainly shown the ability to carry the load for a successful club.
The signing of Charlie Lindgren is more than just a great addition to the goaltender depth in Montreal, it’s a symbol that the the doom and gloom season they’ve had is coming to an end and brighter days lay ahead of this organization.
While not all will look fondly upon the move, it without a doubt can only affect the organization in a positive manner. He was recently ranked the fourth overall, and top NCAA free agent goaltender.
Lindgren joined the team immediately upon signing his deal but did not play until April 7 when the Canadiens were in Carolina.
By starting the game, the Canadiens (essentially Lindgren) set a franchise record for most goalies used in a single season (5).
Avoiding the pressures of the Bell Center was key according to Head Coach Michel Therrien and the plan worked. Although Lindgren allowed a goal on his first shot against (it was a good scoring opportunity and bad defensive effort from his team), he did make 26 saves for the 4-2 victory in his NHL debut.
While he was visibly nervous early on, he settled down as he made some solid saves and was in control by the end. He showed poise and athleticism during scramble mode in the waning moments, robbing the Hurricanes at least three times including a gutsy two-pad stack in the clutch.
His future looks very bright.
If he stays in Montreal long-term, he and Carey Price could potentially combine to form the league’s best goaltending tandem.