|Price made 34 saves on his way to earning his first career NHL shutout. |
MONTREAL - It appears Montreal is Carey Price
’s kind of town. Refocused and refreshed since his recent call-up from the minors, the rookie’s first career shutout is the latest sign that Price is back in business.
Cool as a cucumber as always, Price was his calm self against the Flyers, stopping all 34 shots he faced. After seeing his hunch pay off and playing Price in back-to-back games, head coach Guy Carbonneau is never surprised to see his young goalie show his tradedmark poise.
“That’s why he is who he is,” shrugged Carbonneau. “That’s why he won the Calder Cup with the Bulldogs last year, and that’s how he played for us at the start of the season. It also looks more and more like his time in Hamilton served him well. He’s sure got his confidence back.”
While relieved to see the Canadiens escape with the 1-0 win, Price couldn’t wait to pick up the phone after the game like any average 20-year-old would do.
“You never forget your first shutout that’s for sure,” admitted Price. “I can’t wait to call home and share this with my parents. I know my dad was watching, like he does every game.”
With an 11-8-3 record this season, Price is now also the youngest Habs goalie to reach the 11-win mark since Patrick Roy did so back in 1985-86.
Amid all the excitement, Price knew he didn’t earn his first whitewash on his own.
“I made sure to thank all the guys for playing so hard in front of me and allowing me to get the shutout. Our defense was rock solid tonight,” said Price, the game’s first star. “I’ve got to say, I’m feeling really good right now. I faced a lot of shots tonight, but I don’t always mind that since it gets me in the game right off the bat.”
The Canadiens’ crease was a busy place all night long, with the Flyers doing their best to get up-close and personal with the rookie goalie in attempts to rattle him. Clearly, it didn’t work.
Carey has sure got his confidence back - Guy Carbonneau
“The Flyers are a tough team to play against. They really like to crash the net, but we expected that and handled it well,” said Price, who came up huge with eight saves during a Flyers two-man advantage that lasted almost two full minutes in the third period. “They came pretty hard at us there on that 5-on-3, but we fought through it. Our PK did an amazing job of keeping their shots mostly from the outside, making things a lot easier on me out there that’s for sure.”
The news wasn’t all good for Price on his big night. He may have secured his first career shutout, but his souvenir puck has gone AWOL thanks to public enemy No. 1, Daniel Briere, who decided to flip the game puck into the stands after the final siren sounded. It’s safe to assume that Price wouldn’t mind having the missing puck back should the lucky fan who caught it not have already put it up on Ebay,
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com