Like Habster, I love the Canadiens and usually can’t get enough information about the team. But on days like today, maybe its just better to turn off the radio. Some of the nonsense comes from emotional fans who don’t like their beloved team to lose. I understand that. What frustrates me is irrational statements from media types who should feel fortunate to have a platform for their views and be more responsible about how they use the microphone.
Bob McKenzie (a true hockey analyst) recently said that there is one player from the 2005 draft who is a star and will have a huge impact on this league, second only to Sidney Crosby. His name is Carey Price. He plays for the Montreal Canadiens. Shouldn’t those of us who are Habs fans be thrilled by that news and thankful to Gainey for making such a brilliant choice?
Then why are people going out of their way to verbally crucify this guy? Why are fellow Habs fans so excited to see Price fail? I find that behaviour so bizarre. (Equally bizarre was a radio discussion about when Lapierre will win his first Conn Smythe trophy. Right!)
A media type, who is a well known Price-hater, today said that the Canadiens would have won the game last night if they had ‘gotten only below-average goaltending’. That is ridiculous!! Did he even watch the game?
It was a good, tough game last night against an elite NHL team who are playing well right now (San Jose has won 6 straight). The Habs fought back all night finding ways to score. In my opinion, the Canadiens lost the game for the following reasons:
- the Canadiens defense collectively had a terrible game – they were beaten early and often
- San Jose was aggressive and hammered the Canadiens defense
- San Jose forwards were better than the Canadiens forwards and have more depth – other than some occasional spurts of energy, only one Habs forward line showed up to play
- the Canadiens stood by and watched as their goalie was run all night by San Jose forwards with very little response
- the Canadiens live and die by their power play, and it was 0-7
Its only my opinion, but the goaltending didn’t contribute in a major way to the loss. Terrible goaltending or below below-average goaltending more accurately refers to the Canadiens situation for the month prior to the trade deadline. Shaky goaltending means that as a fan, one is holding their breath on every opposition shot not knowing if the save will be made. That wasn’t the case last night. Price was solid is his positioning and at times spectacular (as detailed in my earlier posted comments). Was he perfect? No, of course not. I agree with Habster that Price’s puck-handling wasn’t the same as previous games. There seemed to be some communication problems with his defense. I also think that Price was rattled by being hit so often in his crease by the San Jose forwards. Was the Shelley goal a case of bad goaltending? I think it was a case of bad puckhandling. Shelley’s shot was going wide and it seemed that Price was trying to make a play up ice. Instead the puck skipped off his stick and caught the top of the net. I think it’s a case of him being overly aggressive rather than being shaky (it is similar to Randy Moss looking upfield to make a big gain but dropping an easy catch). At the end of the game, Price was obviously surprised that Campbell went around Komisarek so easily (so was I) and Price was clearly out of position and not ready for the shot.
So lets not misdirect our emotional energy after a tough loss. The 2007-08 Habs are a young, exciting team with lots of potential. Let’s properly acknowledge that this team has some deficiencies (especially depth) but goaltending is not one of them.
Just an aside: Did anyone hear Pierre McGuire (a superior hockey analyst) school one of the more uninformed radio hosts yesterday about the exceptional talent and maturity of the Canadiens #1 goaltender. It was priceless! (pun intended)