Three pucks … and counting

The pucks are arrayed on a shelf at the back of Carey Price’s cubicle: one for his first NHL win, one for his first assist and, soon to be added, one for his first shutout.

34 saves – seven of which came during a 5-on-3 Philadelphia power play, with Canadiens’ best two defencemen – Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek – in the box for an agonizing 1:53.

"It seemed," Price said, "like it was eight minutes long.

"They came hard. You have to give our penalty-killers credit. They only let them shoot from the outside."

Price was his usual quiet, unassuming self as he faced the cameras, microphones and notebooks in the winning room. But in his last two starts, the rookie has faced 70 shots and allowed one goal.

In addition to a shot barrage, Price faced swarms of Flyers crashing his net.

"They go hard, kind of like Toronto," he said. "They have guys who like to go to the net and pick up the garbage."

Price is in the zone.

"I’ve just been reflecting on my habits in practice," he said. "I’m just kind of trying  to practice focusing on the puck and standing up on shots that are going high and following the puck with my body. I think it really helped out."

Will the red-hot goaltender be in the nets tomorrow evening in Philadelphia?

"You guys, that’s all you want to know," Guy Carbonneau said, while not tipping his hand except to concede that Price is playing as well as he did early in the season.

"In Florida, as the game went on he got better," the coach said. "Tonight he just took over."

Carbo praised Price’s poise, patience and confidence. Price’s saves, he added, "seem to be easy for him."

Price planned to phone his parents, who had been watching their son’s first shutout at home in B.C. He said he was ready to go in Philly and "Carbo will let us know what’s going on tomorrow."

Across the room, Roman Hamrlik talked about a busy night: 23 gruelling minutes in his first game back after missing three with a flu that has become a skin rash

"It wasn’t easy for sure," Roman Hamrlik said. "I just went out there and tried to play simple.

"I think everybody tonight picked it up. That’s the way we have to play. Pricey made some unbelievable saves and that’s why we won the hockey game.

621 Comments

  1. wd40 says:

    you know you make a very good point. higgins has been snake-bit for much of the season and ryder.. well, you know. even at that, the guy is still tied for 3rd in team scoring. give him a damn break. besides, he’s coming alive. he’s mr. april.

  2. stephen says:

    Sorry, Exit716, it’s nothing personal, but I had to chuckle a bit at your comment. Sometimes it seems as though the “CBC complex” of Canadiens fans has run a bit too deep.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a Canadiens goal or two on previous intros. :)

  3. Sulemaan says:

    I agree. Koivu is not someone who should be traded. Forget his regular season stats, look at his playoff stats. I always wonder what would have happened if Williams hadn’t high-sticked Koivu that year.

  4. Ali says:

    He passed Peter Forsberg that game, and suffered the knee injury in the very same game. Against the Blackhawks. Breaks my heart.

  5. showey47 says:

    Agreed, koivu is still solid. Would probably still be leading the team in points if his wingers were scoring like last season. Makes you think where we would be in the standings if ryder and higgins were producing. Does anyone else remember back in 1995 when saku was leading the league in scoring before suffering that brutal knee injury? Makes you think what kind of career he could of had without all the serious injuries and over coming cancer.

  6. Exit716 says:

    Do you notice that they never show the Habs scoring on the intro to Hockey Night In Toronto? Never.

  7. The Teacher says:

    We should score 5 goals on Nittymaki. He’s not French-Canadian and is a backup.

    GO HABS GO!

    Surprised Biron didn’t get the start here, it is very odd.

  8. linp says:

    We’ll win if we use our team speed.

  9. wd40 says:

    feels like it’s been a week since the last game! go habs

  10. Sehs says:

    Quick move the TV!

  11. Mike says:

    try watching it online

  12. MikeL says:

    yes u can. Live streaming on cbc.ca

  13. Habs-Kat says:

    :( My parents have company over and the only TV working right now in the house is in the living room. I can’t watch the game!!

  14. Mike says:

    your kidding right? koivu is not done, he just needs linemates he can trust.

    A lesson on what refs call as hooking for him would be greatly appreciated tho 😉

  15. MikeL says:

    I’d prefer if you’d save the ranting until at least after the next loss

  16. doug says:

    i agree. i think it’s ridicuous. there’s not any point to the divisions the way they’re set up except for one disaster scenario where a stinker gets in. i would propose to take two from each division and two wild cards or scrap it altogether. right now it’s not enough to fuel divisional rivalries but enough to allow for stupid things like what’s happening in the southeast. and remember these sucky teams have all played each other (i.e., other sucky teams) and STILL aren’t in the playoffs on points alone at this point. pathetic.

  17. The Teacher says:

    We won’t be getting Cole and Neale?!?! YAY!

  18. Keith says:

    The idiots at HNIC and their infinite stupidity are only showing the Habs in Quebec and the West while us poor slobs in Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick) are stuck with the laffs. Looks like RDS and CJAD. I know, I know I shouldn’t be that concerned. At least I won’t have to listen to HNIC’s anti-Hab bias. GO HABS GO!!!

  19. Ali says:

    does anyone know who this idiot is on Sportsnight 360? I know Francois Gagnon, Pat Hickey but whos the 3rd guest?

  20. MICP says:

    kjdavid,

    I am glad to see that I am not the only Hab fan in northern california. I am a college grad from csu-sacramento living in the east bay. March 3 can not get here soon enough.

    Go Habs Go!

  21. The Teacher says:

    If Price wins, expect him in nets tomorrow.

  22. MikeL says:

    They should switch it up so it is similiar to the NBA. Each division winner is guarenteed home ice, but not 3rd place. Last year in NBA standings, they were
    1. Detroit —
    2. Cleveland 3.0
    3. Toronto 6.0
    4. Miami 9.0

    Detroit and Cleveland were in the same division, and the Heat were the southeast division winners, but finished 4th.

    By the way, they are discussing this topic next on Sportsnet’s HockeyCentral

  23. Barts says:

    I AM GODDAM GLAD BRISEBOIS ISN’T PLAYING!!!!!!!! hahaha…. sorry Mike, couldn’t resist.

  24. Habs-Kat says:

    Hey, he almost has the same birthday as me!

  25. Mike says:

    AND they get home ice advantage. anyways, the league really needs to change the ranking system. I think that in the next 5 years we will the see that the top 3 of each conferance will get a playoff spot but they wont be given the home ice advantage

  26. The Teacher says:

    I’m assuming you think gorges will be moved in that case?

  27. Mike says:

    Someone asked about my boy Pavel Valentenko.
    Position: D
    Height: 6-2
    Weight: 202
    Shoots: Left
    Birthdate: 1987-10-20 Age: 20
    Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

    Read this website.

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/9357/valentenko_a_big_hit_at_the_wjc/

    Pavel is really good friends with sergei, during the habs rookie open pratice this year you saw them kidding around all the time and pulling friendly pranks on each other. It was alot of fun to watch. Can’t wait for him to come up and join the habs.

  28. doug says:

    Gillett’s other team just choked big time – unprecedented. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=508578&cc=5901

  29. showey47 says:

    http://habsprospects.hockeyhq.net/valentenko.html

    here is some of this season’s stats, he is pretty much a shutdown type dman with a heavy shot. From what i was told anyway. http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/pavel_valentenko

  30. nightmare_49 says:

    Gainey likes those three team trades. Right Huey.

  31. showey47 says:

    hockeybuzz is about as accurate as a scud missle, and yes tucker has a ntc and i pray to god he doesn’t end up here.

  32. nightmare_49 says:

    Chuck – I know you see a lot of the Dawgs games and do you think that Valenkenko is ready for the show next year or should he still develope in Hamilton.

  33. OldGrover says:

    I’d love to see Holik come here – great player.

  34. Chuck says:

    Hmmmm… Markov, Komisarek, Hamrlik, Kaberle, O’Byrne, Streit, Valentenko… :)

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  35. The Teacher says:

    Just for you I went back to check 😉

    The Sacramento Bee report that the Kings have reached an agreement in principal to send guard Mike Bibby to the Atlanta Hawks for guards Anthony Johnson and Tyronn Lue, center Lorenzen Wright and forward/centre Shelden Williams.

  36. The Teacher says:

    Pretty good pre-game assessment J.T.

  37. The Teacher says:

    Yup, the only player I would want also. He is also what I regard as our top off-season priority, a true #3-4 defence-man.

  38. Chuck says:

    Could be if he’s traded to team “X” who uses him as leverage and turns around and trades him for what they want from the Habs.

    It’s still a moot point if the Leaf player won’t waive his NTC.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  39. The Teacher says:

    Well, they aren’t making the playoffs, so I’m assuming everyone in the hunt besides Montreal.

  40. wd40 says:

    i wonder what team is trying to get who i assume to be Sundin. hmm. Can you see the leafs trading him to a team in the east?

  41. The Teacher says:

    Signs that the trade deadline is near and fast approaching-

    TSN has a link reading “Report: Kings to trade Bibby to Hawks” and you get excited, but alas, it’s a basketball trade.

    pfttt lol

  42. Wayne says:

    Prediction: I think we’ll blow’em out tonight and on Sunday, by the skin of Downie’s chinny chin chin. We’re due for another masterpiece anyway.

  43. The Teacher says:

    It can always happen in a roundabout way 😉

  44. Mike says:

    The leaf player wouldn’t becoming here.

  45. Chuck says:

    I think that the only laff player that I would be interested in would be Tomas Kaberle. He’s a good puck moving defenseman whose singned through 2011 at an average salary of $4.25 million. Unfortunately he’s already gone on record as saying that he won’t waive his no trade clause.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  46. tony d says:

    i just soiled myself on that bit of gossip

  47. Mike says:

    Even though hockeybuzz is 99.9999% wrong, i decided to share this with you guys.

    “According to an email from a VERY trusted source: I have a BIG clue for you. the Habs are on the brink of making a large deal, but there is a catch. The whole deal is contingent upon and tied directly to the team the Habs are dealing with being able to make another trade that is currently held up by a “player on the Leafs with a NTC.”

  48. showey47 says:

    actually i think you are the one that is right we are 5 points out of 8th and 6 points out of ninth, my bad.

  49. The Teacher says:

    24 Cups-

    If someone replies, you can’t edit the post.

  50. 24 Cups says:

    showey – You’re right. I realized that as soon as I made my original post and then clicked on edit to change it. When I pressed reply again it said that “access was denied”. I therefore had to make another post. Strange.

    5th Montreal – 69
    6th Philly – 65
    7th NY Rangers – 65
    8th Buffalo – 64
    9th Boston – 63
    15th Laffs – 55:-)

    The Original 24 Cups

  51. wd40 says:

    here’s my take: 2 points: ok. 3 points, great. 4 points, wow. we don’t need to win all remaining games, (and back-to-backers are tough) but i have to admit a nice little streak would sure help wash away the lingering taste of that mini-slump.

  52. wd40 says:

    i really hope we don’t see any cheap crap by Philly. i don’t mind a hard hitting, physical game but we all know what Downey and the boys are capable of. for some reason i have a bad feeling, but then again, it might just be pre-game jitters.

    GO HABS

  53. 24 Cups says:

    Habs-Kat – ebk and I have taken note of what you’ve said! You’re right, let’s go all in with our chips and win both games this weekend.

    The Original 24 Cups

  54. showey47 says:

    Actually i think that makes us 6 points out of 8th, the sabres and bruins are tied. I hate to do it but we should be cheering for the laffs tonight since they play the bruins.

  55. J.T. says:

    Philly might come out smokin’, but after five consecutive losses, they’ll be demoralized easily if they should get down early. If the Habs come out and score a couple in the first, the deficit will look like Everest to the Flyers. Then the Habs just have to depend on Price to hold the fort and hope Philly doesn’t beat on them too badly.

    Nice to see a full NHL-calbre D on the ice for our side for the first time in a while.

    http://habsloyalist.blogspot.com

  56. 24 Cups says:

    Make that 6 up on the Bruins.

    The Original 24 Cups

  57. wd40 says:

    man i did not expect that.. the Sabres have been on fire lately.

  58. 24 Cups says:

    Rangers beat Buffalo 5-1 this afternoon with means New York is now tied with Philly and Boston has fallen into 9th place. Montreal is 5 points up on the Bruins.

    The Original 24 Cups

  59. Habs-Kat says:

    I’d be angry if the Canadiens lost both games against the Flyers, I’d be upset if they lost one, and I’d be satisfied if they won both. I think this series is going to be a preview of the playoffs, and in the playoffs, 50% doesn’t cut it.

  60. Les-Habitants says:

    Or we leave Sergei there to develop a bit more and we go get my main man.

    The Bobby Holik campaign:
    “He may not be Hossa, but he won’t cost us Higgins”

  61. howtathor says:

    Mike, caught the game last night…it was too freakin’ cold to go out! If the Jackets do fall out of the race, David Vyborny would look good in a CH or maybe Nicolai Zherdev would like to visit Moscow on the St. Lawrence…

    Glad that Kovy is going tonight. He’s better on one leg than half the players in the league on two! Hope he gets some protection from thugs like Steve Downie. O’byrne should snatch the purse right off of Briere. Wonder if the Briere boo birds will be in attendance? Should be old fashioned playoff hockey tonight!

  62. howtathor says:

    Just floating out some of the names that could be on the move…come Feb 26. My wish is for a proven forward to play with Higgins and Koivu even a rental:
    Tanguay, Jagr, Hossa, Nagy, Blake, Priessing, Fedorov, Liles, Lapointe, Modry, Stuart, Sundin, Jokinen, Mezei, Dvorak, Prospel, Campbell, Lang, Havlat, Richards, Boyle, Pitkanen, Satan, Malik, Gratton, Bernier, Backman.


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