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Price sees positives in campaign, pushing for ‘that little bit extra’

Jun 1, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT

Carey Price Getty Images

The memory of the Montreal Canadiens being eliminated is still fresh in Carey Price‘s mind and despite a strong showing from rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski, it would be understandable if Price was privately wondering if he could have saved Montreal had Chris Kreider not crashed into him during Game 1.

It has to be an especially bitter pill for Price to swallow because he was confident that he could have returned had Montreal defeated the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final.

None of that detracts from the fact that this was an incredibly positive campaign for Price.

“This team played so well in front of me all season,” Price said, per NHL.com. “I was really fortunate to be selected and be able to represent my country [at the Olympics] and I had an awesome time. It was a great opportunity to do that. And the guys in this locker room during this playoff run, it was really fun to play with these guys.

“This is the tightest group we’ve ever had. It’s sad to have it come to an end right now, but we have to look forward to next year.”

Going into this season, Price had already assembled some strong campaigns, but his success had been largely limited to the regular season. In 2013-14, he proved that he was capable of standing tall in big games.

Price posted a 0.59 GAA and .972 save percentage in five contests to help Canada capture the gold in the 2014 Winter Games. He was also one of the main reasons Montreal made it to the Eastern Conference Final with a 2.35 GAA and .919 save percentage in 12 contests.

It’s fair to say that both Price and Montreal defied expectations in the playoffs and have consequently set the bar higher going forward. Price certainly wants to meet those heightened standards and will be using this tough defeat as extra motivation going into his summer training program.

“You need to find a way to get that little bit extra,” Price said.

  1. montrealknowledge - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Why bother talking about Olympic save %, that defence was sick. HABS contend next year, but to go further or just as far they need to be able to score. Typical plight of Montreal hockey system.

    • abouv1 - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Right, but the save % is the most accurate measurement of how good a goaltender really is, statistically.

    • joey4id - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Typical Montreal hockey system or lack of offensive talent? Can’t be both, so which one is it?

  2. dolphincult - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    The gm made great moves at the deadline. Unfortunately Vanek didn’t rise to the occasion and they couldn’t find a spot to help him heat up. If Vanek plays as expected there is way better matchup for other forwards as there was in earlier playoff rounds when he was playing better. Unfortunately the entire group moving forward is a different lineup with the # of ufa and rfas they may not resign

  3. nybadger - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    I like Price, seems like a good guy

    • chanceoffleury - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Agreed. I’m not a Montreal fan at all, but he is one of my favorite non-Pens. I’ve come to realize especially in recent years that goaltenders in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver tend to be hard to root against as individuals. Their media is just brutal up there! It’s become even worse as the years with no canadian cups mounts up and the growth of the internet. Anything less than near-perfection and they get torn apart. They’ve gotta have a pretty dang big ego to make me hate them. Even through a couple rough seasons, Price has handled the pressure really well in Montreal. Finding star players who can do that is half the battle in assembling any team for any #1 sport in any big sports city. Montreal caught a tough break with losing Price. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t gone down.

  4. montrealknowledge - Jun 1, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Joey it’s the system, we have had players come and go, scorers before they get here , scorers when they leave, just don’t seem to puck the luck in the net here. For sure the system, which sounds ridiculous because there have been different coaches throughout the years, same result. Vanek will get back to scoring next season wherever he is. Price is the best goalie in the league, but he can’t score.

    • 7mantel - Jun 1, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Maybe it’s the pressure of playing in Montreal , same as playin in NY , the media pressure is to much for some athletes .They come from small markets with maybe 2 or 3 media outlets to 15 to 20 .

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