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Canadiens' Price still relishing Olympic experience

Monday, 02.24.2014 / 1:30 PM / NHL Insider

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Canadiens' Price still relishing Olympic experience
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price arrived back in Quebec on Monday but still had the 2014 Sochi Olympics on his mind.

Carey Price, named the best goalie of the men's ice hockey tournament at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, again was in the spotlight Monday when he met with Montreal-area media at Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec to talk about his gold medal-winning performance for Canada.

Price, who did not practice Monday and will remain off the ice Tuesday, had his gold medal in the pocket of his sweat jacket and posed for pictures for photographers.

"The last 24 hours has been a bit of a whirlwind," Price said. "I just got off the plane a couple of hours ago."

He met with reporters for about 15 minutes Monday after his arrival in Brossard.

"That team was the hardest working team I've seen, from the forwards to the [defensemen]," Price said. "We were so detailed and executed so well. It was amazing how composed everyone was; a lot of the guys in that locker room have been in tight situations and it showed."

Price's Olympic performance will go down as one of the best in Canadian history. He posted back-to-back shutouts in the semifinals and gold-medal game at the Olympics and finished the tournament with a shutout streak of 164 minutes, 19 seconds. He went 5-0 and led all goalies with a 0.59 goals-against average and .972 save percentage. He allowed three goals on 106 shots.

"Playing behind that team instilled a lot of confidence and we were confident in our ability," Price said.

The last goal Price allowed was to Latvia's Lauris Darzins with 4:19 remaining in the first period of the quarterfinals on Feb. 19. He made 31 saves in a 1-0 blanking of the United States in the semifinal on Friday and 24 saves against Sweden in a 3-0 win in the gold-medal game.

"I think it came down to that team in front of me," Price told reporters following a 3-0 victory against Sweden in the gold-medal game Sunday. "That group of defensemen playing in front of me was just an absolute pleasure to play behind. We didn't give up a whole lot the whole tournament and they really made my job a lot easier."

Price said that he had the jersey he wore in the gold-medal game signed by every member of the team. He intends to have a shadow box built with the jersey and his gold medal displayed prominently.

"Every game was so tight," Price said. "Every team was very good and it was a really special feeling to finally get to hear your anthem played and know you truly deserved it. That was the most special feeling, when everyone was on the ice as the anthem was played."

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price arrived back in Quebec on Monday but still had the 2014 Sochi Olympics on his mind. (Photo: Getty Images)

The 26-year-old certainly has had a knack for coming up big as the starter for his country at international events. In 2007 Price led Canada to the gold medal at the World Junior Championship in Sweden. He was named that tournament's best goalie after going 6-0-0 with a 1.14 GAA, two shutouts and .960 save percentage. His most memorable game was a 34-save, 2-1 victory against the United States in the semifinals that ended following a seven-round shootout.

The Canadiens will resume their season Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings at Bell Centre. If Price gets the start he'll see his Canada coach Mike Babcock on the Detroit bench. On Thursday Montreal travels to Consol Energy Center to face Canada captain Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Price told reporters that he's unsure when his next start will be.

"That will be taken of over the next couple of days depending on how I feel," Price said.

Price is 26-17-5 with a 2.33 GAA, four shutouts and .925 save percentage in 48 games this season.

He said his Olympic performance has given him added confidence entering the final stretch of the regular season. The Canadiens are third in the Atlantic Division but have the same 70 points as the Toronto Maple Leafs, the top wild-card team.

"It's got to affect your confidence somewhat," he said. "It's a satisfying experience. There was a lot of doubt about the position going into the Olympics and we all heard about it in August. To deliver at the right time was huge.

"The pressure is off for now I guess. It'll probably last until the next game."

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