Habs’ Price out for rest of Rangers series; Tokarski reported to start Game 2 (Video)

The Canadiens held an optional morning skate in Brossard before facing the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final Monday night at the Bell Centre (8 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Among the players skipping the skate was Carey Price and coach Michel Therrien announced to the media after the skate that the goaltender would miss the rest of the series against the Rangers.

“Carey Price won’t be able to play, not only for tonight but for the rest of the series,” Therrien told reporters in Brossard. “Really disappointed. He’s our best player.”

Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports tweeted after 5 p.m. that Dustin Tokarski will get the start for the Canadiens in Game 2.

Price was pulled after the second period of Game 1 with the Canadiens losing 4-1. Price was shaken up early in the second period of the 7-2 loss when the Rangers’ Chris Kreider plowed into him in the crease and the goalie skipped the Canadiens’ practice on Sunday.

After Sunday’s practice, Therrien said: “I reviewed the incident, and obviously it was an accidental contact. Put it this way, (he) didn’t make much effort to avoid the contact.”

Therrien changed his tune following Monday’s morning skate with news that Price was done for the series.

“Looking at the incident, it’s a reckless play,” Therrien said after the morning skate. “That’s the truth. And Kreider, that’s not the first time he’s going at goalies. So we end up losing our best player, but our group faced a lot of adversity throughout the course of the season. We have the attitude to respond really well and that’s what I’m expecting, starting tonight.”

Therrien wouldn’t say who his starting goalie will be for Game 2 between Peter Budaj and Tokarski. Forward Alex Galchenyuk, who has yet to play in the postseason because of a knee injury, will also be a game-time decision.

“You’ll know my lineup for Game 2 only tonight,” Therrien said.

Therrien was asked how his club can overcome the adversity of losing Price for the series.

“Well, you know what? One thing that we always preach with our team is being  good  teammates, and we’ve got a chance tonight again to give Carey Price a chance to get back in the playoffs, so to be able to do that, we’re going to have to be at our best because we’re playing against some world (class) hockey players. We play against a good hockey team, and we’ll need to be at our best to give Price a chance to come back in the playoffs.”

Therrien said he wasn’t sure if Price would be ready to return if the Canadiens advance to the Stanley Cup final.

“I know our team’s got a lot of character,” Therrien said. “That is the No. 1 reason why we’re here. We were capable to prove it in the past, and again, we’ve got that challenge to show again that we’ve got tons of character and we’re saying that Carey’s not able to play in this series. We  want to go further.  We hope that he’s going to be ready if we can.”

Other players who skipped the morning skate Monday were Brendan Gallagher, David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty.

You can listen to Therrien’s morning press conference by clicking here.

When Rangers coach Alain Vigneault met with the media Monday, he was asked for his reaction to Price being out for the rest of the series.

“It  doesn’t really change anything for us,” Vigneault said. “We’re trying to get ready for our game.  Prior to the series, we had prepared for three  possible  goaltenders, obviously, spending more time on Price.  It’s very unfortunate what happened to him.  But for us, it’s business as usual.”

Vigneault was also asked if he thought Kreider would be targeted by the Canadiens in Game 2.

“I  can’t speak for how they’re going to react,” he said. “I can just tell you how we’re going to play.  Kreider is a good player, an honest  player like the rest of our team.  We play a straight-forward game, whistle to whistle and that’s not going to change tonight.”

Vigneault wouldn’t say if Derick Brassard, who left Game 1 with what appeared to be a back injury, would be ready for Game 2, saying the forward is “day-to-day.”

“And as far as lineup decisions, I haven’t finalized that,” Vigneault added. “It’s like any other game, you’ll find out tonight at 8 o’clock when the puck drops.”

Kreider denied Monday that he was trying to run Price and said he had only one regret about the play.

“I wish I would’ve put it in the net,” he told reporters. “Obviously, I was trying to score a goal. I put it wide. It was a bang-bang play.”

He added: “I’m going to play my game, play hard, and try to get to the net. I’m here to play my game and play hard, and I think I’m a clean player. I don’t go out with the intent to hurt anyone ever, so I’m going to continue to try and get to the net and score goals.”

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

(Video by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell)

Game 2 Preview, NHL.com

Game Notes

Five Keys to Game 2, canadiens.com

Price out for series, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Game Day Report, canadiens.com

Evening the score, canadiens.com

Players, hockey icons attend funeral for St. Louis’s mother, montrealgazette.com

Rangers show support for St. Louis at funeral, New York Times

Richards, St. Louis bond goes back to first days as teammates, New York Post

Some Canadiens fault Kreider’s collision, New York Times

Vigneault is the anti-Tortorella, New York Daily News

613 Comments

  1. HairyHabist says:

    What makes this different from Pacioretty, Koivu etc. is this team is better than the Rangers.

    I still think they’re going to do it. But they have to win tonight.

  2. gordispitz says:

    we are very lucky pricey did not lose his boys ,, kreider is a piece of shite,,…
    lets not get mad ,, but even.. this crap should not go unpunished,, man o’ man.. absolute crap… accidentally on purpose

  3. habs001 says:

    Well if there is any chance Price plays next round than this round or the West has to go 7 games as the final would not start for 2 weeks..

  4. on2ndthought says:

    liveblog up

    “a cannonading drive”

  5. on2ndthought says:

    I’m glad Steve Yzerman and John Cooper agree with all the guys saying we shouldn’t start Tokarski because he’s too small. That’s why Lindback started ahead of Gudlevski. (I still think Lindback might become a good NHL goalie, but it is a tough position to learn).

    On a sadder note: who did the Rangers pick right after Gainey and Timmons got Louis Leblanc? Yep, Chris (Beezelbub) Kreider. Oh well, it was fun for the Bell Centre fans at the time. LL really looks to be going nowhere, a miracle turn-around is neede to even make him an NHLer. I thought he had a Plek-like upside…

    Too much morosity.. let’s play hockey!

    “a cannonading drive”

  6. CHicoHab says:

    Even if Carey was going to be in the nets tonight the Habs would have needed to come out like its a game 7. If they can’t get up for a home game this far into the season then we may have misjudged the characters on this team. No sulking. No whining. Just shut up and put up. One man doesn’t make the team. Crosby or Malkin will tell you that. I’m no scare……GHG!

  7. Maritime Ronn says:

    The mouth of George Laraque strikes again.
    Not good if true.

    On his Facebook page, he is now claiming that back when he played for Coach Therrien and the Pens in 2007, he was given the green light by Coach Therrien to run into Marty Biron of the Flyers…he actually slid into Biron and knocked him off his skates.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvg-bYyQYoE

    Laraque further claims he was fined by the NHL and ownership paid the fine…

    • johnnylarue says:

      Yeesh.

      While I don’t doubt Therrien 2.0 could still have vengeful thoughts on his mind, I think he’s a lot less likely to act them out this time around.

      Any break in focus against these Rangers can result in a goal against. Looking to lay a big hit on Kreider or having reciprocal crease-crashing on our minds will, in effect, give the Rags a competitive edge.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Wow. Laraque will say and do anything to get even with the CH. Too bad he looks bad saying these things.

  8. Bim says:

    Wow this is certainly bad news for Habs just when it appeared they had a shot at the cup. I can’t say their chances are so good now. Personally I would play Tokarski. I don’t know if anyone’s noticed..he’s not a small as everyone thinks. At any rate we’ll know by about 8:30 if its a series or 4 straight Rangers. If they’re losing after 8:30 I would tell the players to even the score. I might even play a few goons tonite just to make sure the score gets settled. This is war now!

  9. chilli says:

    Toker is in….

  10. johnnylarue says:

    Stay classy, Capslock.

  11. doug19 says:

    Budai was lights in when he played against Ottawa last year. With better coaching, preparation and this motivation he could still have a lights out game. Tokarski really excelled in the games he played for Habs this year. His record indicates playing better under pressure. This will be exciting to see. I hope we soon see Alex Galchenyuk .
    How is he in big games this year? Vanek, does he have a couple more gears?

  12. Colombiahabs says:

    My prediction for game 1 was that Dominic Moore would be a story in this series. Well that happened pretty quick, so lets try to swing this in the Habs favor now…

    Peter Budaj will show why he is one of the most surprising backups in the league.

  13. Rugger says:

    If Toker is in for the Space Cowboy, we better be hearing some Steve Miller Band over the sound system tonight!

  14. HairyHabist says:

    So many people in and around the league go out of their way to deny deliberate attempts to injure exist in the NHL.

    Meanwhile everybody knows the strategy for beating MTL is to take out Price.

    I believe both are wrong.

  15. Paz says:

    If Tokarski starts I hope he never loses and takes us to the Promised Land.

    I have no idea who is better between the two.

    But I would have started Budaj out of loyalty to what he has done for this group.

    The first start should go to Budaj.

    If he loses tonight, you go with Tokarski in New York.

  16. JuventusHab says:

    Is it too late to clone a goalie out of Budaj, Tokarski and Dubnyk?

    Peter’s mask and optimism, Devan’s size and Dustin’s Habs record so far…

  17. CAPSLOCK DAN says:

    @FRONT: WAAAOOOA? 9:00am? I ONLY EVER START DRINKING THAT EARLY ON CERTAIN CANADA DAYS AND THE AUGUST LONG WEEKEND.

  18. JF says:

    In 2006, the year they went to the SCF, the Oilers’ goaltender was Dwayne Roloson. He was excellent during the playoffs, but was injured in the first game of the Final. Everyone thought the Oilers were done, but they managed to get to Game 7 on the shoulders of the now-forgotten Jussi Markkanen.

    Then there’s Cam Ward that same year, who had played something like four regular-season games before coming in in relief of Martin Gerber.

    That’s recent history. We all know some less-recent stuff.

    • New says:

      That was an excellent year, just like this one. Saku was on a roll and the Canadiens were up two games to none over Cam Ward and Carolina. Then, unfortunately, Justin Williams’ stick rode up, under Saku’s visor and nearly took out his eye. Saku was out for the playoffs and Montreal folded like a cheap tent with five goals in the next four games (after scoring 12 in the first two). Carolina 4 Montreal 2. The press anointed Cam Ward a hero.

      Tonight will tell us I guess if the Canadiens have changed at all. Are they a one player team? No evening of the scores? Prone to unfortunate accidents from teams not fearing any type of payback? Canadiens demolish the Rangers in this series on the scoreboard or Canadiens roll over and whimper like the 2006 team. On va voir.

      • JF says:

        I don’t really think the Habs folded in 2006. The games were close, with a couple going to OT. But my point was that little-known or inexperienced goaltenders can sometimes take you far. This series isn’t over.

  19. doug19 says:

    Well Milan Lucic is bounced off the hook by Chris Cheeper. His move into Carey and his comments give Milan a halo in comparison. Boston never sank this low and kudo’s to them.

    • neumann103 says:

      WTF?

      Kreider made no attempt to avoid Price on a drive to the net. Lucic is a thug who runs goalies from 30 feet after they have got rid of the puck and turns the honourable tradition of the handshake line into schoolyard bully exercise. And then whines about it.

      The comparison is absurd. Yes it sucks that Price is out, but Boston or Philadelphia can’t go 5 minutes without doing something worse than Kreider did.

      “Et le but!”

  20. Norm0770 says:

    A couple of thoughts on Vigenault’s comments: He said Krieder is “an honest player” who isn’t intending to hurt people. This is just code for the league hasn’t suspended him for his actions yet.

    Secondly, he said they were prepared to face any of the 3 goalies. Really? Only a moron would have his players ready to face goalies that wouldn’t get a start unless there was a serious injury to Carey Price.

  21. JUST ME says:

    Budaj,Price,Tokarski , the goal remains the same. Pay back time, hockey style and get that serie even before going to NY. Need to have saturday forgotten by all. It then implies that everyone on that team and not only the goaler is in charge of reaching that goal.

  22. Rugger says:

    I don’t think it matters which goalie starts, winning or losing will be determined at the the other end. Habs score 3 or more they win, 0-2 goals they’ll lose.

  23. Slackman says:

    Hey what about Devan Dubnyk. He’s at least as big as Ben Bishop. That counts for something right?

    “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

  24. munch17 says:

    It’s a little hard to figure out the rule about contacting the goalie.
    If someone highsticks a player it is a penalty – accidental or not.
    In football a player is penalized if he contacts the QB – the objective is to protect the vulnerable player.
    It should be the same for the goalie.

    Let’s hope to see an A-1 effort from the team no matter who is nets!!

  25. lizard ranger says:

    I’m Pissed Off and there’s plenty of blame to go around . It starts with the players- until the stars of this game tell their union that they’re tired of getting murdered on the ice it will never end . All the NHLPA and the NHL care about is splitting up a multi billion dollar revenue stream . Expect watered down talent, higher ticket prices and constant labour disruptions . Pay more, watch less, get a crappy product where the best in the game are constantly sidelined by injury . The new NHL is ONLY about money, get used to it .

  26. Old Bald Bird says:

    Tokarski > Budaj and you play the better goalie unless you think Budaj has a stunner in him. Budaj has the occasional very good game, so that could be a mitigating factor. You just can’t count on him long term.

  27. PK says:

    No matter who is in net, we should see a fired up team up front.
    We need a number of our players to step it up.
    Rags have had it too easy in game 1.

    Time to “get to the net” as Kreider puts it.
    Lundqvist needs to get a close up look at the Red jerseys!

    >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  28. twilighthours says:

    Looks like a done deal for Toker. Kevin Weekes is now saying he’s in, too.

  29. habs001 says:

    The thinking may be that if the team wins today..great..if not Buday may be better on the road than at home….

  30. habs001 says:

    The Rangers have the big edge now in games that are tied in the third or in o/t…The two Hab goalies are competent but are they really any better than most back ups in the NHL or starters in the AHL…Posters have to realize that this is a enormous task to expect 2 goalies with hardly any playoff experience to play at a high level over a period of pressure games…not just one…

  31. Mondou6 says:

    Playing Tokarski seems like total panic to me. Like, “We have no chance, so let’s do something crazy.” Not sure what kind of message that sends.

    I don’t see this as a good spot for Tokarski either. If Budaj failed, then fine, but this seems to put a ton of pressure on Tokarski, and it undermines Budaj at the same time.

    • 24 Cups says:

      As I stated in my point below, undermining either of the two goalies is inconsequential. They are both run of the mill backups who are easily replaceable this summer.

      I’m totally on board with starting Tokarski. He has the most upside and Hail Mary factor of the two.

      24.6 Cups

      • Paz says:

        I didn’t think Budaj was considered “run of the mill backup” for us at all. Neither did Budaj or his teammates.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Maybe that wasn’t the best wording. Budaj is a decent backup but that title also applies to many other veteran backups. Some other teams, such as Anaheim and Ottawa, have backups like Gibson and Lehner who are on the rise which is a totally different story.

          24.6 Cups

    • neumann103 says:

      I dunno. The way I see it is that Therrien is telling his players “This is on you. You must play well enough to win with adequate goaltending.”

      I think that Budaj looked weak on Saturday but he is one of the better backups in the NHL. Either Budaj or Tokarski should be able to deliver adequate goaltending.

      The potential advantage of playing Tokarski tonight (other than the fact that he looked really good in Hamilton) is that if you get a bad performance, you come back to Budaj in game 3 and probably ride him regardless. If you go to Budaj tonight and he stinks then you are really tossing Tokarski in the deep end in game three..

      I don’t know that it would be the best move, but I can understand it.

      “Et le but!”

  32. CAPSLOCK DAN says:

    IS IT DRINKING O CLOCK YET?

  33. habcertain says:

    on TSN690, it is pretty much a fore-gone conclusion that Toker is in. I don’t think the move is as ballsy as some may think, MT trying to create some drama with our past history of going with rookie goalies. If this kid sucks, the move will be torn apart like a kid’s present on Xmas morning. I wonder how the players are looking at this, since Budaj is quite popular with the team? Also looks like his days would be numbered here, he can’t be taking it too well.

  34. HabsFansince49 says:

    Okay now is the time for the guys to pull it together and win for Price. Don’t use his injury as an excuse.

  35. 24 Cups says:

    I’ve been out all day I so I haven’t read any of the comments. I also just found out about Price.

    Here’s how I see it. Without sounding harsh, the feelings or future of Budaj or Tokarski are of little consequence. Budaj is strictly a back-up goalie who could easily be traded/bought out this summer. Tokarski may eventually catch on in the NHL but he’s not really needed in Montreal down the road. There also will be a major goalie glut on the market this summer so Montreal could easily pick up a second gaolie if Budaj leaves. Tokarski’s two year deal means he can stay in Hamilton another year.

    Which leads me to my point – Montreal can’t win this series with Budaj in net. Maybe, just maybe, Tokarski could go on a hot streak and pull off a miracle. With that in mind, Tokarski should get the start tonight. Even if it’s just a blind hunch.

    24.6 Cups

  36. sCOTT1243 says:

    Price out…now I am officially sick to my stomach. Talk about having to dig a little deeper now. Is Tokarski the answer, I don t know but I think I’d go with Budaj for his experience.
    Sad thing is all Prust did was give him a few whacks…not a proponent for violene, but they shouldnt have let them get away with it. Weak in my opinion.

    This sucks, it aint over but it wont be pretty.

    • Mondou6 says:

      Same thoughts here. I was so psyched for Game 1, and now I’m dreading the game tonight.

      Rangers got away with it.

      To have any hope, we have to do all of these:

      1) Outplay the Rangers all game
      2) Put numerous pucks by Lundqvist
      3) Have Tokarski play great.

      Seems pretty unlikely to me.

      • JF says:

        We have to focus on defence. Take away time and space in the neutral zone, protect the front of the net, clear rebounds, don’t give up any odd-man rushes, etc. Then bury our chances.
        And of course stay out of the box.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.