PITTSBURGH – Carey Price
has some very good company in the Canadiens’ record book.
Posting his eighth shutout of the season on Saturday afternoon, Price became just the eighth netminder in Montreal Canadiens history to accomplish the feat – and the first since Hall-of-Famer Ken Dryden in 1976-77.
“I didn’t know that – but, cool,” responded Price with a smile after being informed of his record-setting afternoon. “It’s just a credit to our team play, really. It’s a credit to our commitment to defense and to blocking shots. My D has been playing awesome. I’m just trying to keep it simple. It seems to be working.”
Brushing off individual accolades as often as he’s kicked aside opposing shots this season, the All-Star netminder wasn’t interested in taking credit for any of the 26 shots he stopped on Saturday afternoon.
“Our guys did a good job keeping them to the outside and battling in front to clear rebounds. Anything I left out, the guys were there; I didn’t have to do a lot,” lauded Price. “Everybody came back through the middle and backchecked really hard. I thought we played Exhibit A road game-type hockey.
“We played exactly the way we prepared ourselves to,” added the game’s first star. “I thought our guys came with a good level of focus today; everyone was loose but focused. We got the result we all prepared for.”
Price may not have been willing to bask in the spotlight after earning his league-leading 33rd win of the campaign, but his teammates weren’t about to let him get off that easily.
“Carey’s been a huge part of a lot of our wins lately and we need him. We try to support him as much as we can, but he’s been great,” shared Habs blue-liner Hal Gill. “He’s worked hard for those [shutouts] and we haven’t given him anything too easy. He’s definitely earned those.”
Having played in front of future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur for 7 seasons in New Jersey, Scott Gomez
has seen his share of spectacular play between the pipes, but even he’s been impressed by his 23-year-old netminder.
“People don’t expect it from him but they shouldn’t be surprised. He’s one of the best in the league and there’s a reason for that,” emphasized the 31-year-old center. “It’s not a shock to us. You watch him every day in practice and you see that he’s mature beyond his years.
“Even if he has a bad game, he shakes it off. He doesn’t really let much bother him. He’s set the bar really high and that’s what we expect,” he added. “Carey’s in a world class and every game we go into we know that department is taken care of. Being on a team it’s important to have that much confidence in your goaltender; Pricer’s been great, but we expect that every time he touches the ice.”
Price may still have a ways to go to beat George Hainsworth’s NHL-record 22-shutout season set in 1928-29, but the 23-year-old netminder has plenty of time to catch up.
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSO:Postgame comments: Martin
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