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Price begins first Canadiens camp with Waite

Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 5:10 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com / Training Camp 2013 blog

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Training Camp 2013 blog
Price begins first Canadiens camp with Waite

BROSSARD, Quebec -- A new relationship began to be built Thursday when Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price spent his first on-ice session with his new coach, Stephane Waite.

"He's got an excellent resume; he's had success with other goaltenders," Price said of his new mentor. "I'm looking forward to rounding my game with him."

Waite's resume includes winning the Stanley Cup twice in four seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, helping first Antti Niemi then Corey Crawford backstop their teams through the grind of the playoffs.

Waite was hired away by his former colleague with the Blackhawks, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, over the summer to work with Price and try to smooth out some of the inconsistencies in his game. He is Price's third goalie coach in seven seasons, after Rolland Melanson and Pierre Groulx, whose contract was not renewed after last season.

Waite said at the time he was hired that he had some ideas as to what he wanted to change in Price's game, but that he didn't require wholesale changes.

The two had their first exchange of ideas on Thursday, and Price said they didn't get into too many details regarding what he'll need to change right away.

"As we progress further into camp we'll make those adjustments," Price said.

However, Price revealed one thing he would like to do is become more efficient with his movement in the net and realize that standing still can sometimes be his best move.

He referred to it as keeping his game "quiet," and in the past that's when he's been at his best, when his saves appear routine because he's in position to stop a shot before the shot arrives. That can often be a result of not having to compensate for having gone too far out of position on a previous shot attempt.

"For me personally, I want to keep my game a little bit more quiet," he said. "I want to stay at the top of my paint, try not to drift out too much. Once you start doing that, that's when you start opening up your five-hole and getting a bit exposed."

It sounds like a simple concept, but when the play is moving around you at blistering speeds, it can be more of a challenge than people think.

"You've got to mentally keep in mind that you don't have to move as far as you think you do," Price said. "You've got to just simplify it. Sometimes less is more."

Price is under a heavier than usual microscope this season in Montreal after he finished last season so poorly. Even though the play of the team as a whole dipped dramatically at the end of last season and in the playoffs, Price's performance was under the most scrutiny, and will be again once the 2013-14 season begins.

That's where Waite will come in, and coach Michel Therrien is confident he will allow Price to reach his potential.

"We all believe that Carey is one of the best goalies in the NHL," Therrien said. "[Waite] brings instant credibility to Carey and we believe he'll be able to bring Carey to the level we all expect."

Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic