Goaltender Carey Price smashed a stick in frustration this morning, not long after non-scorer Garth Murray beat him with a lovely top-shelf backhand, and not long before Price starts tonight’s Bell Centre game against the New York Islanders.
Price is expected to play the full 60 minutes of this exhibition, the Canadiens’ fourth this week. While head coach Guy Carbonneau said that no one is going to make the roster tonight, Price could use a strong showing after yielding three goals in his only game action thus far. That came in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Canadiens will send 14 NHL-experienced players onto the ice against the Islanders, against whom the Habs lost 3-1 in Moncton on Wednesday. All that was known of New York’s lineup as of noon hour, according to Carbonneau, is that they won’t have goalie Rick DiPietro in nets tonight.
Here’s a sampling of audio from the dressing room, and from the corridor outside it in the case of Carbonneau, after the morning skate today:
Goalie Carey Price says simply that he doesn’t like being scored upon, thus the breaking of his stick. Carbonneau and goaltending coach Roland Melanson skated over to him and reminded him that games aren’t won during the morning skate. Clip runs 2:07.
Centreman Tomas Plekanec, new in jersey No. 14 this season – he jokes that goaltender Yann Danis was mad at him for wearing the netminder’s No. 35 until now – believes that every so-called “meaningless” exhibition game is important, teaching players good work habits and how to focus on specific tasks. Clip runs 1:10.
Captain Saku Koivu has confidence in goalie Carey Price, and jokes that the team will get a lot of good work accomplished next week in Mont Tremblant and St. Jovite – provided the media stay in Montreal. Clip runs 3:30.
Scrappy forward Garth Murray, who took two fighting majors against the Islanders in Moncton on Wednesday, says the rough stuff has always been a part of his game, and defending teammates is what he’ll continue to do. Clip runs 1:55.
Head coach Guy Carbonneau on Price’s outburst during the skate, the significance of exhibition games, and a few candid thoughts on his feelings about fans getting on the team’s case when it loses one in a row, no less two, as they have heading into tonight’s contest. Clip runs 7:05.