Tonight the Canadiens will host the Minnesota Wild and former Hab Gullaume Latendresse at the Bell Centre in the third game in three nights for Jacques Martin’s team. The Canadiens will also host the Florida Panthers tomorrow on home ice. It is expected that the team will keep around 27-28 players for the last ten days of training camp, so expect the organization to trim its roster on Tuesday.
The lineup for tonight’s game:
Brian Gionta – Scott Gomez – Andrei Kostitsyn
Lars Eller – David Desharnais – Mathieu Darche
Max Pacioretty – Dustin Boyd – Ryan White
James Wyman – Andreas Engqvist – Ian Schultz
Ryan O’Byrne – Alex Henry
Mathieu Carle – Brendon Nash
PK Subban – Alexandre Picard
Alex Auld will play the whole game.
Yesterday the Canadiens dropped a 2-1 lead at the hands of the Ottawa Senators to finally lose 6-2 in another shaky outing by goaltender Carey Price in Kanata. The Canadiens were only one for nine on the power play while the Senators went three for seven. Ben Maxwell and Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal while Nick Foligno and Jason Spezza, with two apiece, Bobby Butler and Chris Neil netted the goals for Ottawa.
Price had another poor performance yesterday, blocking only 24 of the 30 shots he received after surrendering four goals on only ten shots against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. After two outings in training camp, Price now has stopped 30 pucks on 40 shots for a miserable 0.750 save percentage.
On September 2nd, 2010, the Canadiens re-signed Price, a restricted free agent, to a two-year contract. He will earn $2.5 million this season and $3 million in 2011-12. At the end of this contract, he will still be under the Canadiens control, but he will have arbitration rights.
While it’s not time to panick yet as it’s only training camp, one has to wonder if Price is strong enough mentally to rebound from such a dreadful start and to silence the harsh Montreal fans.
If Price continues to underperform and have problems maintaining his focus during crunch time, the Habs’ season will most likely be a nauseous rollercoaster in 2010-11. While his play can be exceptional and scintillating at times, Price seems unable to offer consistent quality goaltending. While Price is utterly talented, he has a tendency to allow soft goals at crucial moments of a hockey game.
Are these lapses simply the result of immaturity, a lack of mental preparation, a bad defensive corps or just plain bad luck? Price seems to have a dedication and commitment gap and this could explain his inconsistent play. Price also appears nonchalant and careless at times, especially after a bad performance as he often tells the Montreal media that he will not lose a night of sleep over a bad game. Well, if I were in his skates, I would be concerned by my play and think about how I could improve it by making adjustments, like have a better positioning, be more focused and don’t dwell on the bad goal I just let in during important games.
People should really stop bashing the guy as he is Montreal’s goalie of the future, as evidenced by the Halak trade in June, and let him show us what he is capable of, but to do so Price has to work harder in practice and show more commitment to winning both on and off the ice.
Perform consistently on the ice Carey, and the fans and the media will stop questioning your commitment and your talent, it’s that simple.
About the Author: Working as a freelance sports writer and translator, Fred, 33, graduated from Laval University in Quebec City, earning a bachelor of translation in 2002. An avid fan of the Northeast division teams, he's also a long time fan of the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Fred also speaks fluently French and Spanish. http://twitter.com/FredPoulin98 www.traductions-quebec.com