Comment: Was silence golden for Price?

It was that kind of night for Canadiens goalie Carey Price.
Allen McInnis, Gazette

Boone’s live blog and postgame audio

The Gazette – Habs Inside/Out

That Canadiens goalie Carey Price wasn’t available to say a few words to the media after Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins might or might not have been his choice.

If Price chose not to speak, he would have been helped a great deal by having someone on the team suggest to him – strongly – that it was in his best interests to make a dressing-room appearance, if even briefly.

If it was the Canadiens who chose not to make him available, they did their No. 1 goalie, and themselves, a disservice.

Indulge a small bit of first person: In a previous life 25 years ago, I was the media relations officer for the Canadian Olympic swim team, during the primes of Alex Baumann and the late Victor Davis.

Davis didn’t think much of the media, and vice-versa. But on more than one occasion, I had to pretty much take him by the scruff of the neck and haul him out to speak to the media after he’d had a bad swim.

The media reported on Davis’s world-record and Olympic gold-medal swims. They also reported on him when he struggled and lost to far inferior swimmers. Never once did Davis not face the music, though sometimes he needed some strong convincing to do so.

I’d suggest that he gained more respect and did more for himself when he expressed his thoughts after a loss than after a gold-medal race.

When you’re an elite athlete, in a public spotlight few of us will know or fully understand, facing the music good or bad is what you must do.

Carey Price has a far better relationship with Montreal’s hockey media than Davis did with reporters who sometimes showed up once every four years to cover amateur sport and took great delight in carving him when he didn’t win.

Price is engaging and thoughtful. He can handle himself very, very well in interviews, after good games and bad, and the media treat him, generally speaking, with a fair hand.

I’ve enjoyed speaking with him since before he arrived in Montreal and have enjoyed watching him grow as a goalie and as a man.

And at the end of the day, he occupies a unique position in this city as the Canadiens now uncontested No. 1 goaltender.

Wednesday night, if it was Price’s idea not to talk after having surrendered four goals on nine Boston shots, he needed someone on the Canadiens to convince him otherwise. To come into the dressing room, to speak for two or three minutes, if even on a team official’s watch, and then go his way.

(Don’t blame him for all four goals, either. He’d like one back. The others: good shots or no help from his team. To a man, his teammates and coach stood by him.)

If the Canadiens made the decision for him to remain under wraps, they were wrong.

The story simmered overnight, of course, the usual jackals went nuts with it and the media will try again Thursday at practice to have a word with him.

If Price is not available once more, the story moves a day closer to dying on the vine, which in the team’s eyes is the perfect thing. But in so doing, Price does himself no favours, the Canadiens mismanage a situation and the goalie’s critics have additional ammunition to suggest he lacks the emotional toughness to play nets in Montreal.

Price has again been anointed his team’s No. 1 goaltender. He’s just signed a two-year, $5.5-million contract. He’s faced, through no doing of his own, with the summertime departure of fan favourite Jaro Halak, something that touched a very raw nerve among Canadiens fans.

This is the preseason. Wednesday’s game meant nothing, finally. The usual idiotic fans showed their true colours by derisively cheering Price’s routine saves.

But it also was a chance for the goalie to make a statement, in deed as much as in word – to demonstrate that he has the maturity to deal with a bad night.

It would have been unpleasant for only a couple of moments to express his feelings, and then it would have been done. He’d even have found a generally sympathetic media, which almost unanimously thought little of the fans’ treatment of him against the Bruins.

This isn’t about a slight felt by the media, who had plenty to report about beyond this.

It’s about accountability after a preseason game, about a goaltender working himself into shape after the summer.

It’s about a goaltender who for the short, medium and perhaps long term, is the No. 1 guy in this town and who, like his teammates, deserves a little slack to make his preparations.

A couple of words from Price to Canadiens fans would have been a very good idea given how goaltending occupies a special place in this city’s sports landscape.

For whatever reason, it didn’t happen.

My hunch is that the Canadiens took the road of least resistance. They didn’t push the issue with the goalie, and might well have even suggested to him that he’d be better off saying nothing.

And a goaltender who did not have a career night didn’t disagree.


  1. quentin_stuckley says:


  2. quentin_stuckley says:

    does anyone know if the fans, no i can’t call them that…does anyone know if the antagonists started chanting “we want halak” last night?  i had to work, and couldn’t see/listen to the game.  i hope they didn’t.

  3. andrewberkshire says:

    It was 55.6% so I guess he qualifies.

  4. Duracell3 says:

    While this will be mostly our opening night roster, I don’t even care about the poor performance.


    The fact Andrew Conboy wears the CH even for a pre-season game is embarassing.

  5. vanderglenn says:

    good points Andrew. Why is this stuff coming back so early. Mr. Stubbs, please don’t fuel this stuff. It’s pre season. I know it builds the commentariat but please. We need a good goalie more than we need a told ya so journalism sector of the gazette.

    I’ve never been a big fan of Price and his headspace should be questioned considering what comes out of his mouth but he has to be good to win and by fucking his confidence this early is obviously a cheap way at stirring the shit and getting people like me to respond. C’mon Pricey, prove us wrong.

  6. SeriousFan09 says:

    Talking or not talking, some rip him in tommorow’s columns because it might sell more papers or generate more site traffic.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  7. LA Loyalist says:

    How about incenting him: when his save % gets over 50% he can stop talking to the media.

    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  8. sidhu says:

    There are multiple issues here, that should not be conflated —

    1) Fans boo’ing

    2) Price’s performance

    3) Price not being available for the media

    My view:

    1) They have the right to boo.  If they can cheer, they can boo. 

    2) It’s only one game

    3) I agree with Stubbs: Price unavailability only facilitates the impression that he’s immature, can’t take the heat, etc.

  9. ghabsg says:

    I agree but feel there is no reasoning with these f•n clowns….!

  10. LA Loyalist says:

    If you think that Price thought this game was meaningless then maybe that’s the problem.

    High School is meaningless in the scheme of University – unless you flunk out and never get there. The regular season is meaningless in terms of the playoffs – unless you flunk out and don’t make the playoffs.

    Price wasn’t ready for tonight. Why is that? Because it’s meaningless? Why? And it’s ok for our #1 millionaire goalie to have that attitude?

    And not to speak for Dave, but he didn’t need a “sound bite” (or do we call it byte now?) Price provided the story line by coughing up a fur ball tonight. Dave just reported facts. Don’t kill the messenger.



  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    See what he does with tonight, either takes it as a challenge or doesn’t.

    His goalie coach is Pierre Groulx, he used to work in Florida with Vokoun and Craig Anderson before JM left their GM and brought him with to coach Price.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  12. andrewberkshire says:

    Dave, even if Price had talked to the media, the same Jackals you’re talking about would have perverted anything he said.

    If Price DID speak to the
    media, the story would have been either; Price says “These things
    happen, bad games happen, I’ll move on” [Headline reads: Price doesn’t
    care enough]; Price says “I’m disappointed that I played poorly, I
    really want to win with this team” [Headline: Price is overemotional,
    cares too much]; Price says “The booing doesn’t bother me, I tune it
    out” [Headline: Price is checked out of Montreal, doesn’t respect fans]:
    Price says “The booing gets to me of course, but hopefully over the
    year I’ll give them good reasons to stop booing” [Headline: Price
    rattled by booing; Mentally weak between the pipes].

    This how
    sports journalism works in Montreal, especially for Price. He can’t win
    no matter what, so why bother speaking to the media? There are some great journalists out there, but they’re outnumbered by the imbeciles.

  13. RJB says:

    Tonight I am embrassed by those people who booed Carey Price at the bell centre. Calling themselves “fans” of this team. They are going to run this kid out of town, and when he becomes a superstar they won’t have any right to complain, it’s your own damn fault, and it’s a damn shame.

    That last bit rhymed, without my intention

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  14. badangel says:

    Dave I really like you as a writer but I think that by posting this you have created a sh!tstorm when there needn’t be one. Everyone keeps droning ON and ON about how it’s pre-season and a meaningless first game – it’s rather hypocritical to post this “comment” about Price and ONLY Price.

    Hockey is a team sport and a whole game was played by an ENTIRE team yet all that is mentioned in the aftermath of this is Price. It’s WAY too early in the season to start adding fuel to the fire and open up an obviously sensitive and touchy issue of goaltending since last year.

    We ALL know where things go with respect to the goalie issue and I think that as a media person this “comment” is totally inappropriate and selfish as you, as a writer, don’t get the soundbite you may want. I’m really disappointed as I see this article as calling the dogs (troll type fans) on to Price when it really isn’t warranted at this point of the season – especially when it’s induced by the media.


    MAYBE Price (and team) saw this game for what it is.. meaningless in the scheme of the season .. and DIDNT want to make a big deal out of NOTHING (ie meaningless game) – why make a mountain out of a mole hill…. ah but WAIT the media can do it for you.


    I’m so disappointed as a reader of HIO and a fan of the Habs for the reaction to Price.

  15. HabsFan90 says:

    I’d like to see all the people who mocked Price and booed him to put on his equipment and do his job better. They really have no right, to be honest.

    When you’re a #1 goalie in the NHL, then get back to me.

  16. LA Loyalist says:

    I hope to the cross on the mountain that you are right, Serieux. I almost always agree with you.

    But i am very, very concerned about Price’s mental fortitude and lack of preparedness for tonight. It was a big chance for him to silence everyone, including me, and he blew it.

    I would happily shut up and go back to complaining about the smurfs down the middle. 

    Who’s his goalie coach? Do you know?

  17. sidhu says:

    Very well put, Stubbs.

    The fans are the fans, they will not change — they will give our goalies the Bronx cheer in the preseason, they will taunt VEEEESSAAA even though he’s in the KHL. 

    But the media is flexible — they can be on Price’s side, or not.  They lie between the team and the fanatic fans. 

    In refusing to deal with the media, Price is alienating himself and denying himself the opportunity to bring the media closer to his side of the spectrum; he forewent the chance to get a favorable spin on his performance that thousands of fans would read. and listen to. 

    If this is “just a preseason game,” then Price should have come out like it was just like a preseason game.  Instead, by refusing to come out, he allows the impression to exist that the fans got to him, even if this was a meaningless game. 

    Price is young — but so is Gorges, who spoke to the media, and he had the example of Gill and Cammy to emulate but opted not to.

    This could be a long-season in the Price-Montreal-Media relationship.

  18. mtlhbsfn says:

    I agree – I was at the game and felt ashamed to have to sit there and listen to them boo and cheer mockingly – I don’t care how much someone gets paid – it can’t feel good – and its freakin’ pre-season, game 1….

  19. LA Loyalist says:

    “Whatever reason?” The reason is simple math: 8 shots – 4 goals.

    He did not come prepared to play. To say it’s preseason is crap. Posting it a 100 times doesn’t make it not crap.

    Boston was fielding rookies and rust, too. They managed to show up. Any goalie knows it’s hard to play in pre-season because it will be disorganized in front of him and he has to be mentally prepared. Many posters are excusing Price like he is a rookie. He’s not a rookie anymore, is he?

    We have a huge problem if Price doesn’t get it together. We don’t have anyone else and we don’t have the depth to trade. The east is going to be tight and we can’t go even 10 games 3-7 and then go “oh, oh.”

    I’m not giving up on him, but he managed in 20 minutes to blow all the accumulated goodwill and excitement of anticipating the new season with a clear #1 goalie.

    Who the hell is his goalie coach, anyway? Any of you guys know. That’s who should be getting a bus ticket first off. Sandwich and a road map for this embarassment.

    I’m sorry to be harsh. But you don’t get paid 2.75 million dollars or whatever the amount is to load a diaper like that.

  20. ZepFan2 says:

    No, they’ll do that tomorrow.


    After admiring the Stanley Cup: “This is the only thing that has seen more parties than us.”
    – Steven Tyler

  21. HabsFan90 says:

    It sickens me to be a Habs fan sometimes. Who gives these jerkoffs tickets? Give those tickets to fans who care and support the team through anything. Give this kid a damn break. It’s one game and was playing in front of junior d-men most of the night.

    But the funny thing is, Halak let in 3 on 15 last night. But that’s still good enough for people’s standards. Unbelievable the hypocricy in some people. “WE WANT HALAK” Really? Go be a Blues fan if you miss the guy that much. We don’t need pathetic fans longing for a guy who wasn’t going to end up staying here anyway.

    Go Price and Go Habs. I’ll STILL be rootin for ya.

  22. avatar_58 says:


    I love you guys but don’t say something so ridiculous. RDS and co would like nothing more

  23. wotever says:

    Overall, I saw enough things to make me look forward to the upcoming season and seasons.  I’m also reminded of how the team last year struggled at the beginning of games and then came on hard later in the games, and how this shifted at the end of the season the other way around, where they had to get the lead if they wanted to win.  Course, maybe that’s what happened for the games I watched sober. 😉

    I can’t tell if I’ll be bothered to read another regular season day of the pointless vitriol that passes for hockey commentary on this forum.  The inmates are running the asylum.

    You’ll have to speak up – I’m wearing a towel.

  24. Scott in Montreal says:

    it was just the first preseason game and it meant nothing for a guy who is inked-in on the main team (like Price). He had nothing to prove and was probably out of position on a couple of those goals in trying to compensate for a weak and disorganized D. Wait for the regular season to start before grinding this ax, okay?

  25. Dave Stubbs says:

    The media, as a group, were in no way interested in ripping Carey Price tonight.

    Dave Stubbs
    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
    • On Twitter:

  26. scrowe21 says:

    LOL at the people comparing Price to Halak about how they talk to the media when they win or lose…WHO CARES…Price had a crap game and needs to be better. bottom line, he knows it, everyone knows it. I dont blame him for not talking to the media. Im sure he feels shitty enough as it is.


    My spinorama shootout goal with Cammy

  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    Pretty much it, anything he says will just extend the story, if he waits till Saturday (since I imagine B squad will be playing Friday), he can get another game in and silence his critics before it all spins out of control.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  28. LA Loyalist says:

    Amen. This is on Bob Gainey and the brain trust, who should have known better.


    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  29. rocketsglare says:

    Yes, its an insignificant pre-season loss for Price and he should be given some lattitude for this loss,

    but apparently he continues to be moody, something that plagued him especially at the end of the

    regular season last year.

    It was hoped that Price would start this season with the maturity of a #1 netminder and meet his

    responsibilities head on, one of them being the traditional post-game interview. But by blowing off

    this interview he is unintentionally signalling his lack of composure and maturity that are sure to

    follow him and that can only bring him more problems later on.

    He should have calmly meet the media and given a brief Q&A and then called it a night. The media

    would have understood and Price would have won the day by demonstrating after a disapointing loss

    that he is a consumate professional and in control of the suituation. All earmarks that Price has matured

    beyond his years and understands the responsibilities that go with being the starting netminder on this



    Go Habs Go!





  30. Doctor Device says:

    Who says he’s taking it hard?  He probably just recognizes a no-win situation.  If he comes out and says everything is fine and he’s not upset, then the story will be that Price doesn’t care and isn’t taking things seriously again.   If he comes out and says that he’s disappointed, then the story will be about how Price is downcast and rattled.

    The only thing he can do with the media and fans is play well – nothing he says will do anything at this point.

    I feel for him because I’m sure that isn’t the performance he wanted to put in but it’s preseason.  The fact that the media and fans are already calling for blood is just silly.

  31. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …let’s take the positive first …We will have a different dynamic this season …significantly more skill and depth …as well as identified character, balance and solidarity as a Team …clearly, in the wings, We have real talent percolating, awaiting opportunity if any of Our regulars disappoint or are injured …I will be VERY surprised if the Montreal Canadiens are not a playoff team …after only one exhibition game Our Achilles Heel, the negative, is represented by Our goaltending …will We be let down by shoddy goals allowed that will undermine all the positive ? …it was not that Carey allowed 4 goals in 9 shots on goal …but objectively, it was HOW He was beaten …seemingly lackadaisical, waving at the puck unfocused and seemingly without any reflexive muscle twitch, either with His legs or glove …not appearing post-game indicates Carey is already dealing with major psychological and emotional stress that is magnified by the carry-over during the previous 2 seasons …I am a Habs Fan that wants to be a Carey Price Fan too …I think that if this was happening while He was a Pheonix Coyote or a member of almost any other NHL team, Carey Price has WHAT it takes to turn it around …as a Montreal Canadien it will not be as easy …optimistically, the Montreal Canadiens will not be a Team that will frequently allow 40+ shots as They did last season …We will be significantly tighter defensively, controlling offensively much more of the play …this is what We must be patient to allow to play out …let the Team meld around Carey, and vice versa …if You as Fans of Our Habs have any remaining credibility …do NOT destroy Carey Price

  32. SUMO says:

    I have a suggested headline for you or Pat Hickey; :”A tale of two goaltenders”

    Tonight at the Bell Centre we saw the only 2 goaltenders picked in the 2005 NHL entry draft; #5 (Carey Price) & #21 (Tuuka Rask). Both were hightly touted draft picks and viewed as saviours for their respective fanchises. Both are big and athletic but one paid his dues in the minors and had an all-star veteran netminder to mentor him (Tim Thomas); the other was rushed through the system and handed every opportunity along the way.

    Rask wasn’t expected to resolve the goaltending hole in Boston or TO. He had Tim Thomas minding the net so he could be developed slowly with NO pressure to be the man between the pipes. Rask had 2 seasons in the AHL and was eased into the NHL. His maturity and development to this point is a result of good mangement and tempered expectations. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    In Careys situation its; everything was handed to him NOT because he earned it or beat out Huet or Halak for the job. There are no more excuses for Carey he has to deliver every night or he is villified. The fans expected him to be Roy or Dryden not Steve Penny.

    So here we are in September 2010. Tuuka Rask looks to be the next dominant goalie in the NHL whereas Price is still trying to find his game in the NHL. I’m still a believer in Price but tonight is more of a lesson on how poorly the Habs management have failed draft and develop their 1st rounders. Price has all the tools to be the galtender of his generation but to this point he has shown none of that.

  33. EricInStL says:

    Tampa Baie won…..


    In Guy Boucher I trust.

  34. EricInStL says:

    It would show to those who question his mental toughness, that he will not flinch when people will boo him.


    This no show gives ammo to those who do not like Price for whatever reason. Call it good PR if he showed up to answer questions.

  35. twilighthours says:

    Maybe that’s exactly why he should have answered the bell.  Why is he taking it so hard if it’s only a meaningless game?

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    Halak didn’t talk to the media after the 3 straight losses in the season’s last 3 games that were clearly on his head and if not for OT points, would have meant no magical playoff run for the Habs in 2010.

    Why does Price have to answer to the media in his first 30 minutes of playing time since April in a meaningless pre-season match?


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  37. FB says:

    Did anyone else think Maxim Lapierre looked bigger on the ice tonight.  It looked like he grew a foot and put on a good 10-15 lbs.  I was very impressed with him tonight.

  38. twilighthours says:

    There’s a lot of value in this article by Stubbs.

  39. habs03 says:

    Exactly like others have said here, Price played horrible but to write all that because he didn’t want to talk to the media? Also like others have said, Price faced the media after every loss last year, while Halak only talked to media after wins and never after a loss, and not once have you mentioned that, lets be fair now!!

  40. christophor says:

    the story of the night is how price wasn’t available? media thinking too highly of themselves? i agree with you, but this isn’t the only thing that should be said after this game. 

    come on, dave. i was looking forward to some commentary on the game. i really enjoy reading what you have to say. instead i got a commentary on how the media felt for about 10 minutes after the game. this isn’t a chatroom for only those with media passes to vent their feelings on not getting their cheesy quotes. we come to discuss hockey. we can even discuss price’s brutal night, but based on what happened on the rink also.

    ugh, goodnight. 

  41. Kooch7800 says:

    Carey let in one really bad goal, the rest were defensive break downs in the first preseason game.  The team actually looked really good part way through the second and dominated the third.  Maxwell looked good as did Tinordi.  It is preseason. Give price a break

  42. HaloHabsFan says:

    Stubby – is this a hold over from a high school grudge when none of the girls would talk to you either? Good to hear you are re-living the glory days of your olympic swim team involvement.  Perhaps those were the glory days of your reporting as well.

    I don’t see the point of your article, other than needlessly throwing salt in the wound.

  43. Doctor Device says:

    “Sympathetic media” har har har – you don’t seriously believe that do you?

    Anything Price said would have been picked to pieces, as everyone (including him) knows.

    Raking up a controversy over the first game of preseason is ridiculous.


  44. Shan says:

    Dah, who cares!

    I don’t care if he does or doesn’t speak to the media. I don’t care if he seems mature or not! Why is it in his best interest? Because you say so? Or because there’s a spiral effect? Whatever! That doesn’t matter in Montreal; it’s always a lot of attention, no matter what.

    Speaking to the media or not is not a measure of manhood or maturity. Neither is that night he raised his arms in exasperation. People read way too much into things, methinks.

    Carey should do whatever puts him most at ease and keeps him happy. If not answering the same questions and not fake-smiling and not BSing for 3 minutes about a topic that isn’t really worth discussing makes him a little more comfortable, then good for him.



    Their defenses are broken! Let the slaughter begin!

  45. JVSmith says:

    So when Halak lost miserably last season and wouldn’t speak to the media, it’s ok but Price is weak, gets humiliated by these low-class fans and he has to be there? I hate this city for its hypocritical fans, one set of conduct expected for one guy and another set of conduct for another. Cheer for the TEAM or go HOME! We deserve our reputation.

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