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Habs need bounceback from Price

Aug 7, 2013, 10:57 AM EDT

For Carey Price, the 2013 season officially came off the rails on Saturday, April 4, in Toronto.

In front of a national Canadian TV audience, Price allowed three goals on four Maple Leafs shots before getting pulled.

One of the goals looked like this:

And that was only the beginning of the nightmare stretch. In his next outing, Price surrendered six goals on 29 Philadelphia shots before once again getting the hook.

There were more rough outings to come, including in the Habs’ brief playoff appearance.

Price, 25, had actually started the shortened season quite well, putting up especially strong numbers in January and February and earning a decent amount of Vezina Trophy buzz.

But that seems like a long time ago now, and Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin knows it’s on the organization to help its struggling netminder.

“Goaltending’s a difficult position, very demanding,” said Bergevin. “So it’s normal that a young player feels pressure.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure he gets through this stage.”

Certainly a strong start would go a long way toward attaining that objective; otherwise, the Montreal spotlight will only burn hotter.

“When you’re winning here there’s no better place to play,” Price said. “But when you’re not playing well here it’s definitely tough.”

Price is signed through 2017-18, with a big $6.5 million cap hit. No other Canadien has a bigger contract than that.

Of note, Montreal opens the 2013-14 regular season with two home games against — you guessed it — Toronto and Philadelphia.

  1. mcgmedia - Aug 7, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Price is a good, solid, positional goaltender who’ll give the Canadiens a good enough performance to challenge for the division lead.

    What’s unclear at this point in his career is if he can be relied upon to carry his team through a deep playoff run.

    • greenmtnboy31 - Aug 7, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      I don’t think that is unclear. It seems very clear to me that he can’t be relied upon to carry his team deep into the playoffs. He needs to improve his game a lot in the post season. He’s never had a winning record in the playoffs. He’s only gotten into the second round twice in five tries. In three of the five seasons he’s been in the playoffs, he’s accumulated a total of one win in 12 games played. That makes it pretty clear he can’t be relied upon.

      Montreal needs to have a plan B and be prepared to rid themselves of this guy if he stumbles again. I used to be a big fan, but the facts are clear that he hasn’t taken advantage of the opportunity he’s had available to him. In fact, Jaroslav Halak was the only reason Montreal went deep into the playoffs in 2010; Montreal couldn’t rely on Price and had to replace him.

  2. stepanup - Aug 7, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    If the Habs continue to get 18 more powerplays (203 over 48 games) over the course of half a season, and a full half hour more time on the power play than the team with the second most PPs/PP time in the NHL, they’ll be right in the thick of the competition. I think Pittsburgh sells calls (6th in opportunities) and MTL got 33 more power plays than them…in half a season!

    To throw gasoline on the fire, before MTL fans start saying Boston dives, the Bruins earned the fewest powerplays, 122, a whole 91 fewer over 48 games. The median of power plays for was 163, almost a full powerplay fewer per game than the Habs.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Don’t follow their games much, and I remember Subban doing a planned “embellishment” ploy where he blatently tried to engineer a call against an opponent – and got caught.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        In contrast, Hawks, unless I missed something, got called for one. Michael Handzeus got tripped and prevented from breaking away. Likely could have kept his balance, but he went down to call attention.

        The ref got it right – one call for tripping, and a call for embellishment, with a 4 on 4 as the correct result.

      • itsallniceonice - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        How many times do we have to rehash the same crap over and over?

      • bruinssuck - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        YA Bruins are not diver !??!? LOL

      • bruinssuck - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      • stepanup - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        Don’t let facts, or grasp of the English language, get in your way ‘bruinssuck.’ I’m a Rangers fan but I can at least respect the kind of game the Bruins play.

    • itsallniceonice - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      It would be interesting to compare home vs. away. I’d attribute it more to the unbearable whiny Bell Centre fans helping sway the calls.

  3. LampyB - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Yes, Montreal dives and sells calls more than any other team. It’s a disgrace to the league, and the sport of hockey. Hopefully Subban can mature and get past this childish talent.

  4. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 7, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Price isn’t the problem in Montreal. He’s a solid goalie. He has bad nights like every goalie. You have to look at the team as a whole. The defense has some good guys, but for the most part it is very young. Subban, Emelin, Diaz, Tinordi, they’re good, but they haven’t been in the league very long. The forwards in Montreal are notoriously small… but they got Briere so that should help with size.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 7, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      “but they got Briere so that should help with size” Sarcasm? He’s 5’10”

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:44 AM

        Shouldn’t have to explain sarcasm when it’s that obvious.

  5. jtoro25 - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    LampyB, you’re still crying about Montreal being a team of divers?!? Did you see that Bruins video??? That’s the disgrace.

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