BROSSARD – Carey Price
may not have been nominated for the Vezina, but it was the furthest thing from his mind on Friday morning.
Despite finishing the regular season tied for the league-lead with 38 wins, Price was left off the Vezina ballot in favor of Roberto Luongo, Pekka Rinne and Tim Thomas. He won’t be bringing home any goaltending hardware this June, but the two-time All-Star is more focused on helping his team collect the biggest prize of all in the meantime.
“It is what it is. The guys who were nominated really deserve to be there and I’m not going to take anything away from those goaltenders,” shared Price after learning he wasn’t among the Final Three before shifting his focus right back to playoff-mode. “At the start of this series, if you would have told me it would be 2-2 after four, I think we would’ve taken that. It’s a best-of-3 and it’s a sprint to the end of this one.”
After seeing the Bruins and Habs combine for nine goals on Thursday night, Price and his teammates will be looking to revive some of the defensive, shut-down brand of hockey that helped them hold the Bruins to just one goal in the first two games of the series.
“Yesterday was definitely a spirited game. Both teams were playing really well offensively. It’s bound to happen when you have a bunch of talented players on the ice,” explained the 23-year-old netminder. “It seems both teams want the road advantage now. I guess as a team when you go into an opposing rink, it’s a lot easier to keep your game simple. That’s why road teams are successful in the playoffs.”
For just the 31st
time in NHL history, the visiting team has walked away with each of the first four games to open the series. Heading into Boston for Game 5, the Habs will be looking to spoil the party at TD Garden for a third-straight time this postseason.
“They came out with two wins, but for the majority of those two games I thought we played better. They could’ve gone either way,” suggested Price. “We’re confident in our room. They played really well, no doubt, and they earned everything they got. But I thought we played pretty strong as well so we’re not concerned; we’re not going to press any panic buttons yet.”
“They were facing adversity and now it’s our turn,” he added. “It’s pretty much all the quotes they were saying two games ago for us. We can’t kick ourselves now – we just have to cowboy up and do it.” Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Bruins #5 Best of 3 Road, Sweet Road Comments: Price
, Sopel, Darche