Quick! Hop on the bandwagon Habs Fans!
Well, Carey Price played in his first game. And just like Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden, he picked up his first win in his first start in the exact same arena. So a lot of Habs fans think that this must mean Price is the next Roy! But hold on a second…
Habs fans, slow DOWN. Carey Price did play very well, and he made some stellar saves, but guys, it is just one game!
I’ll be the first to admit, I believe that Price will eventually be a superstar goalie, but as Jacques Demers said yesterday, Lets not compare Price to the likes of Roy and Dryden just yet.
I actually started receiving text messages yesterday stating that Montreal was taking the Cup! Mind you, most of those people were likely drunk, but even in a drunken state you shouldn’t be saying that a team many are predicting to miss the playoffs is going to win the Cup, it’s just illogical.
Let’s take a look at the performance of the Habs last night.
Montreal managed only 5 shots in the first period. Carbonneau did say that the players would instinctively play defensive hockey in front of a rookie tender. They took several stupid penalties and were lucky to escape the period tied at 0.
Montreal started the second period by taking a dumb penalty and it finally cost them. But as the period went on Montreal seemed to wake up, and Plekanec really made himself noticed by scoring a powerplay goal, and in my mind proved he should be at LEAST our second line center. He then set up Kovalev for a 2 on 1 with Kostitsyn. Kovalev elected to shoot, surprising Fleury and netting a softy.
Montreal DOMINATED the third period offensively. At one point the shots were something like 13-2 in Montreal’s favor. They managed one goal and that was all they needed.
The defense put up a solid performance early in front of their young tender, yet they still gave up a few chances. For some reason, Pierre Houde and Yvon Pedneault were picking on Josh Gorges for most of the night (probably because he took the place of French Canadian Brisebois), yet I felt that the blame should have been placed on Mike Komisarek for taking a few dumb penalties throughout the game. Gorges was a little apprehensive, but by the time the third period came around, he was playing very well. I seem to recall him breaking up a 2 on 1 against Malkin, and setting up a few offensive chances.
The second period was about the same for the Habs, yet a silly play by Hamrlik sent Crosby flying on top of Price, knocking the goalie out of the play and allowing for an easy goal, giving the Pens the early lead. Like the offence, the more the period went on the better they seemed to be playing.
The first 15 minutes of the third was dominated by the Habs defense. Bouillon, Streit and Markov were all over the place, breaking up plays, and the forwards were back checking tremendously. The last 5 minutes was pretty shaky, but they managed to hold on.
This is the part everyone’s buzzing about. Price played an excellent game. Neither of the goals given up were really his fault. If you really wanted to scrutinize you could say he didn’t play the second goal properly, but that is to be expected by a rookie in his first game.
Price made some really good saves, and what interested me was that in his first start he was displaying some characteristics of a star goalie. He was making these saves consistently, throughout the game and not in short bursts like many goalies.
BUT… Guys, relax, it was only one game. If I remember correctly Yann Danis recorded a shutout against Atlanta in his first ever start. I’m not comparing Danis to Price, because Price has wayyy more potential, but let’s not make the same mistakes we’ve made on the Likes of Theodore and Huet. We were ready to build those two monuments, especially Theodore, and look what happened.
For the sake of Carey Price, please don’t start labeling him as the savior just yet. We can’t EXPECT another 20 year old to lead us to a Cup! Let Price develop slowly, don’t break his confidence (or build it too high), and please, watch your step and you hop on to the bandwagon…
I am excited about Price, I am excited about the possibilities in this season and in the years to come, I am pumped about the young talent we have, and I am EXPECTING a Cup in the next 5 years.