It was probably one of the weirdest games a goaltender could have. Carey Price started off the game Thursday against the Boston Bruins very well making key saves in the early going. Then, the faceoff happened. Tomas Plekanec won a faceoff literally right through Price and into the net. It was probably Price’s nonchalant style that allowed the goal to go right through his legs.
Price could have let up from there. Played with more pressure that he cost his team the game. That didn’t happen. He continued his strong play. Making key saves look easy, he stonewalled all shooters in the black and gold.
Then, Rich Peverley had a breakaway against Price. Price stayed back in his net and made the blocker save. Then, as he does from time to time, Price did a pose. It should be a welcome sight for many a Canadiens fan because it means that Price’s swagger is back. He’s done it before in shootouts against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins and caused a hubbub that only P.K. Subban could relate to. But Price has done it when he’s been on top of his game, and after a slow start for him and the team, it seems the swagger is back and everyone has more confidence.
Many say the way Price plays the puck leads to failure. That he needs more of a sense of urgency. The goal he allowed shows that he’s not mentally prepared for the game. I call BS. Price is cool under pressure, and when you think he doesn’t care about his actions just look to that save on Peverley. The fist pump showed that underneath that cool demeanor, he has passion and wants to win. If that’s not what you want from your number one goaltender, I don’t know what is (well, besides the ability to stop the puck.)
Price, and many other young goaltenders (and in some cases even the team around them) would have shrugged their shoulders and slumped down on the bench after giving up the first goal like they did in the Boston game and against the Philadelphia Flyers the night before. What this Canadiens team did is shut the door the rest of the way and come back to win.
This team wasn’t struggling because of Perry Pearn. But Pearn’s firing seems to be just the medicine that this team needed to get its swagger back. We know that Price has found his.