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Note to self: Carey is ready

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – While heading into the playoffs on a winning note was the ultimate goal for the Canadiens, seeing Carey Price firing on all cylinders might very well mean more in the big picture come playoff time.

After kicking aside 38 of the 41 shots he faced against the Penguins in a losing cause to close out the regular season, Price wasn’t exactly a happy camper, but he should’ve been. Two more points in the standings my have meant the Habs would have finished No. 7 instead of No. 8, but the young goalie flashed the type of brilliance the Habs are going to need if they hope to upset the first-place bruins in the opening round.

“This just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth,” grumbled Price. “I made a few nice saves, but I just hate losing.”

The stops Price was referring to were a few notches above nice. His thievery on Matt Cooke and Bill Guerin will certainly be dominating the highlight reels for the days to come.

“I felt good tonight,” said Price. “This has all been a work in progress since the All-Star Game. At this time of year, it's important to be peaking at the right time.”

After being named the game’s No. 1 star, Price wrapped up the season with 53 points in the Molson Cup standings, edging out last year’s winner Alex Kovalev. At the age of only 21 and seven months, Price also became the youngest winner in the 36-year history of the award first handed out in 1972-73, surpassing Stephane Richer, who had turned the trick at age 21 and nine months back in 1987-88.

“Carey kept us in the game tonight, there’s no question about that,” confessed Georges Laraque. “Carey is clearly ready for the playoffs and he’s not the only one. We all are.”

With the sight of Price smashing his stick to bits in the tunnel just moments before being announced as the game’s top star, Laraque is definitely onto something. And the Molson Cup is clearly not the silver mug Price has on his mind these days.

Manny Almela is a writer for

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