Hickey gets quotes from the room:
Carey Price felt that his performance against the Ottawa Senators was an improvement over his first preseason appearance but all it proved was that Price and the Canadiens have some work to do before the regular season starts Oct. 7 in Toronto.
The general consensus in the Canadiens’ room after the game was that Price played better and, for 35 minutes, that was true.
Then he gave us a goal on what appeared to be a harmless shot by Jason Spezza from deep in the corner.
“The one in the corner wasn’t that good,” said Price who left just enough space between his leg and the post to allow the puck to go in. He would surrender two more goals before the period ended to give the Senators a 4-2 lead.
“It would have been nice to make some of those saves but I’m not going to lose any sleep.”
There was some missed communication between Price and Kyle Klubertanz on the Spezza but it had nothing to do with the puck going. Price ignored the No. 1 tenet of goaltending by not sealing off the post and he paid for it.
Price agreed that he might have lost of his focus after the Spezza goal.
“I wasn’t too happy about that. I thought the next two goals were pretty decent goals but I have to make some of those saves.
“I felt a lot better than I did last game. The numbers aren’t going to show; well actually they might but, obviously, it wasn’t the result you want but it’s a work in progress.”
Price’s numbers were better than they were Thursday when the Canadiens lost 4-2 to Boston. Price played 30 minutes that night and gave up four goals on nine shots.
Veteran defenceman Jaroslav Spacek played the coulda-woulda-shoulda game and said the Canadiens let this one slip away.
“It started pretty good. We had a 5-on-3 power play and if we put that away, it’s a totally different game,” said Spacek. “We made a couple of mistakes and gave them a chance to come back on the power play and a penalty shot In the end, we pushed it hard trying to get something going and we made some mistakes and they scored some goals.”
The Canadiens had a 5-on-3 advantage on two occasions but failed to score and the team which had one of the best power plays in the NHL last season, went 1-for-9. Ottawa, which ranked 23rdof the power play last season, added Sergei Gonchar in the offseason and the team went 3-for-7 in his Ottawa debut.
As for Price, Spacek said: “I think he was playing great today. We didn’t help him much, especially in the second half of the game.”
Spacek said he didn’t want to make excuses but he noted that the Canadiens played with five defenceman after an errant stick by Nick Foligno clipped Hal Gill in the face.
Coach Jacques Martin said Gill was day-to-day with an eye injury.
Martin he liked the way Price competed, even when the game was out of hand.
“He just has to keep working and the team has to play better in front of him,” said Martin.