Time is right for Habs to give Price a shot

Sometimes digging out of a hole in a playoff series is about finding a way to break the pattern. Sometimes that takes something bold and unexpected.

Bold and unexpected, it’s fair to say, does not characterize Jacques Martin’s coaching style. Maybe that’s a contributing factor in his sub-.500 playoff record as an NHL coach.

But with his Montreal Canadiens down two games to none in their Eastern Conference final tussle with the sizzling Philadelphia Flyers, Martin does have one bold card to play.

Hint: It wasn’t putting Sergei Kostitsyn in the lineup for Game 2. That was just strange.

No, the move that’s there for Martin is to insert netminder Carey Price in place of Jaroslav Halak .

Risky? Absolutely. Worth the risk? Absolutely.

The Canadiens need to find a way to seize the initiative in this series starting with Game 3 at home Thursday night. So far it’s all been about what the Flyers have been doing and what Montreal hasn’t been doing, which for the most part has been putting pucks behind Michael Leighton.

And what, pray tell, will changing goalies do to help the likes of Mike Cammalleri , Brian Gionta and Andrei Kostitsyn find the net?

Well, nothing, specifically. But Price is a different character than Halak , for better or for worse, a much more confident and aggressive figure in the net. He plays the puck more aggressively. He might take a swipe at a Flyer in his crease.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/nhl/article/811877–cox-time-is-right-for-habs-to-give-price-a-shot


13 Responses to Time is right for Habs to give Price a shot

  1. Stuv_Dogg says:

    This would be a puzzling move is the most polite of descriptions.

    Unless Price can score like that goalie from Disney's Mighty Ducks (the movie, not the hockey team) then Martin should keep his a$$ nailed to the bench.  Not that it needs to be pointed out, but the biggest problem in being shut out two straight games is scoring goals, not stopping goals.

    With the exception of the Ville Leino goal in the second game, Halak seems to be playing a decent series and, IMHO, isn't the problem.  Replacing him with Price now will kick Halak's confidence, and do you really want to mess around with the main reason why Montreal is this deep at all?  Also, Price shouldn't be described as 'confident', more 'c0kky'.  Apart from early on in his career he hasn't really proven that much and is a mediocre goalie at best.  If he let's in a bad goal early the home crowd will be all over him (see last year's playoffs against Boston), the team will be deflated, and you may as well give PHI the series.

    It says here that Damien Cox is an idiot and Halak should and will be between the pipes in game 3.

    In other news, what's with all the damn popups on this site?  It's getting that you can't move your damn mouse without some window popping up telling me the secret of a flat belly.  I appreciate that this is a free site and someone has to pay for server space and hosting and such, but I think it's getting close to the point where the popups are making it difficult to enjoy the site, thus contradicting their purpose (to continue the sites existence for our enjoyment).

  2. leafy says:

    I am sick and tied of the stupid idiotic media. Lucky for the Habs that Jacques Martin didn't listen to Damien Cox.

    Halak gets no respect. Right at this moment, he's about 2 times better than Martin Brodeur, YET he has to constantly prove himself every game. No respect.

  3. Boston_Bruins says:

    He's hot and cold. If he was good on a consistent basis he wouldn't have to prove himself but he's been running pretty hot and cold so far. Don't forgewt that he's already been pulled 3 times.

  4. leafy says:

    Brodeur was pulled a couple of time too against the Flyers. Yet nobody questions Brodeur's status as a starter, simply because he's Brodeur.

  5. HABSSTAR says:

    I don't get it. 

    The first two games the Habs scored exactly 0 goals, so obviously a goalie change is necessary.  Unless the Habs are bringing Hextall and his scoring ability out of retirement why focus on goaltending when the offence had gone dead.

    The last thing the Habs should want to do is get physically aggressive with the Flyers, they need to play to their strenght like they did tonight.  Skate, skate all night long and force the Flyers to do the same.  It worked well tonight. 

    Game four is going to be HUGE.  I expect we will see one of two Flyers teams come out. 

    Flyers #1 – Get frustrated and start playing "Flyers' hockey" becoming overly aggressive and heading to the penalty box on a constant basis.  That's playing with fire as the Habs are certainly capable of making them pay a very steep price on the PP.  (I don't think this team will appear unless the Habs get off to a hot start in game 4)

    Flyers #2 – Will take a look at how they went from winning games 6-0 and 3-0 and to losing 5-1 and will make the necessary adjustments. 

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Flyers #1, but it's very likely we will see Flyers #2 and Montreal is gonna have to bring their A game.

  6. HABSSTAR says:

    He's also playing net for a 8th place team that has been hot and cold all season. 

    I think what you're seeing is a very good goalie who can only hold up the fort for so long.  When he gets a little help from his team (and that's all he needs on the vast majority of nights is a little) he's a world beater. 

  7. HABSSTAR says:

    Off topic a little bit here, but if PK keeps up his play into next season, does Markov become available on the trade market?  Finding a home for him and Hammer next year clears up a lot of cap space for the Habs… 

    I think he has the talent to do it, and I'd love to see PK pull off something like this in these playoffs:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9rp-ewJ8mI&NR=1

  8. THENOTORIOUS says:

     It crossed my mind a few times in the past week, The Habs could package him and get a lot in his return, plus I think the habs showed that they can play without him in the regular season and he hasn't been a factor in playoffs mostly due to injuries.

     I thought of 2 trade the habs could make.

    To NYI=Markov, AK and SK
    To MTL=Okposo, Hunter and 2010 1st rounder

                 and

    To EDM= Hamrlik,Halak and a 3rd
    To MTL=Souray and Svenson

     I think that those deals are helpful for both teams involve.

  9. leafy says:

    If I understand you correctly, you wanna trade Halak?

  10. HABSSTAR says:

    That would be a ballsy move.  If we have to move either of those goalies it should be to the West.  I don't want to play either of them multiple times a year.  Halak has been a beast and I'd be happy to keep him but the flip side of that is that he might be worth more now than he ever will be again.

  11. THENOTORIOUS says:

     what do you think of those trade ideas?

  12. pezzz123 says:

    The 1rst deal seems good.

    The second deal is bad though. Hamrlik/Souray is basically a swap of bad contracts. But you won't have Pajaarvi-Svensson, a 10th overall pick for Halak and a 3rd. Goalies are dime a dozen right now. Nabokov, Turco, Ellis, Biron, and a lot more are UFA this summer. Vokoun is available for trade. Nobody will give a 10th overall pick for a goaler, as good as he can be.

    For Halak, cross you fingers for a mid-level prospect like Troy Hesketh.

    To EDM : Hamrlik, Halak
    To MTL : Souray, Hesketh, Dubnyk

  13. pezzz123 says:

    Wether PK becomes a star or not, any good GM would but Markov on the market right now.

    How much will he cost on a resign? Probably something around 6.5 million per year. Now, is he really worth this? I'm really not sure. Is he an elite offensive d-man? Yes. Is he a d-man you build around a dangerous team though? I don't think so. Markov would probably be a heck of a #2, allowing him to play his game without pressure.

    Also, Markov is 31. He's gonna be 32 in December. Chances are strong his game will start to decline slowly very soon. Add to the mix his 2 leg injuries…..I'm not sure his game is gonna stay where it is that much longer. Thus, I'm not sure giving him 6.5-7 million for 6-8 years is the thing to do.

    So I say : trade him!!! A crazy GM will without a doubt grossly overpay for his services. You could easily have something close to what the Ducks got for Pronger. Not that much, but close. If you don't trade him, anyways, chances are he'll bolt somewhere else when he's gonna be UFA. I see Detroit making a huge pitch for him in the summer of 2011 (Lidstrom will be retired, and Rafalski is off the books the year after).

    If you could have one of these packages, you have to jump all over it :

    From Anaheim : Bobby Ryan, 2nd rounder

    From Columbus : Umberger, Tyutin, Goloubef, 2nd rounder

    From Dallas : James Neal, 2nd rounder

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