OTTAWA – When the Canadiens swap stories about how they spent their All-Star breaks, Carey Price’s weekend will be pretty tough to beat.
While the majority of NHL players took the past four days to kick back and relax, Price enjoyed a different approach to recharging and getting ready for the final stretch. From being drafted by regular season rival Zdeno Chara to putting his showmanship on display for the hockey world to see in the skills competition and All-Star Game, the 24-year-old goalie probably earned himself a few new pledges to his already jam-packed fan club this weekend.
With 42 games already under his belt this season, Price headed into the break as one of the league’s busiest goaltenders. Some players would prefer to rest, but the Habs netminder wouldn’t have traded his extra action this weekend for anything.
“Everybody obviously wants a bit of a break, but this is timeless,” shared Price, who has now allowed eight goals in three career All-Star appearances. “This is going to be something I’ll remember forever and when I’m retired I’ll look back on it and know I was really happy I got to be here. It was probably the most fun I’ve had; it was right up there with the one in Montreal.”
Being voted in as a starter for the 2009 midseason classic in Montreal remains a career highlight, but coming into Ottawa as a three-time All-Star helped Price feel a little more comfortable letting his personality shine through.
“There is a little bit of awkwardness at first when you meet anybody you don’t know. It takes time to know somebody but after being here a couple of times I know just about everybody in the room so it’s easier to approach them,” admitted Price, who counts Saturday’s skills competition as the highlight of his busy weekend. “That was great. I had a lot of fun goofing around and people seemed to enjoy it. I’m glad it was entertaining.”
Price made sure to make the most of every opportunity that came his way during the weekend, including taking in Drake’s concert between periods from the front row and getting some autographs from the Canadian rapper and all 37 other All-Stars in attendance.
“I’m a big fan of Drake’s. I got him to sign my jersey and everything. It was great,” he explained. “You have to go and do that – if you don’t you’ll kick yourself later.”
The Anahim Lake, BC native was able to take in the show during the second intermission without any pressure, having already played his 20 minutes in the second frame. The reason Jimmy Howard got to start the game and Tim Thomas got to close it out had a little bit to do with veteran status and a lot to do with Price’s predictability in tie-breaking situations.
“We all got together and Tim wanted the opportunity to win a fourth one,” described Price of Thomas, who became the only goaltender in NHL history to win four -straight All-Star Games thanks to Team Chara’s 12-9 victory over Team Alfredsson. “Me and Jimmy decided we were going to rock-paper-scissors for the start and it worked out just the way it was supposed to.
“I always go rock – you’ve got to go with rock,” he grinned. “But Jimmy went paper.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSO:
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