Thursday March 10, 2011
Montreal Canadiens vs. St. Louis Blues
Wow. What a difference a year can make. At this time last year, Carey Price had officially lost his starting job to young goaltender Jaroslav Halak, and many fans had all but given up on Price. Some of us still believed in the young netminder, but a massive group of fans had turned and things were getting ugly.
After a stellar playoff run, in which Halak stole the show, the Canadiens defeated the Presidents Cup winning Washington Capitals followed by the defending Stanley Cup champion, Pittsburgh Penguins, both in 7 games, and Price’s ticket out of town seemed to be stamped.
In a surprise move, GM Pierre Gauthier shocked Habs nation and retained Price and traded Halak to the St. Louis Blues for prospects Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. There was panic. The mediots tweeted aloud with words of anger, blame and lack of faith towards the calm Gauthier. But he stood firm.
In Price’s first preseason game, he was booed off the ice after a shaky performance that saw him let in 6 goals. Panicking fans were calling for both Price’s and Gauthier’s heads and still placing all kinds of blame on former GM and Habs Legend, Bob Gainey, for his part in all of this.
Price’s comments after the game will be remembered forever. He merely said with a tiny smirk. “It doesn’t bother me. Everything is going to be fine. Just chill out.”
Anyone who has seen Price play this year can see that he has taken his own words to heart. His calm dimeanor and unbelievable positional play has seen him be in the Top ten in stats all year long, and leads the league in wins. Everyone who had a hate-on for Price last year seemed to have the same comment. “Sure he plays ok, but he’s not winning.” Well, how do you like him now, folks? He is playing like a man possessed and is, guess what, WINNING! (this is not a Charlie Sheen quote, I promise)
At the beginning of the season, every Habs fan had March 10, 2011 pencilled into their calanders. It marked the day the Habs would go to St. Louis, and Price and Halak would go head to head. All questions would be answered, and one of the two goalies would be crowned champ.
Here we are, the day has come, and I haven’t heard one thing mentioned about the matchup. The Blues are more or less out of the Western Conference playoff race, and Halak’s stats compared to Price’s are nowhere close. He’s done fine, but that is all. Fine.
This isn’t a suprising fact considering the “Chara incident” that has the news aflurry instead. But that’s another blog.
- Andrei Markov (Torn ACL – out indefinitely)
- Josh Jorges (Torn ACL – out indefinitely)
- Max Pacioretty (out indefinitely- concussion, broken neck)
- Mathieu Darche
- Jaroslav Spacek
- Alex Picard (healthy scratch)
- BJ Crombeen
- Roman Polak
- Vladimir Sobotka
- David Perron
- Philip McRae
Keys to the Game
Concentration. With their mate in the hospital, and former goalie in the oppositions net, it will be a difficult task for the players to remain focused. I have faith they will do it, and stick to the gameplan that has shown them success all season long. Maybe Martin should start Auld for this one, just cause.
Montreal 4 – St. Louis 2