Having said that, Price is going to have to start performing like he did in the first two games of the season pretty soon, because his performance since then has been very mediocre, and that's being kind. In fact, if you take those first two games out, Price's numbers are downright hideous: 0-6-0 record, 4.25 GAA and .851 SP.
Price simply has to perform facing a Boston Bruins team missing its top two centres now that David Krejci has been felled by the swine flu, a team that hasn't scored in two games, one with an anemic power play that has produced only two goals in its last 39 attempts. On top of that, this is a team that made Price look like a misguided fool in last year's playoffs, and he should motivated for this one like no other game. If Price is average once again, or worse, then we may have to start asking some serious questions about what he can offer the Habs this season, and maybe even beyond that despite his young age.
Gregory Stewart and Kyle Chipchura will be asked to watch from the press box to make room for Ryan White and Tom Pyatt. If this move actually has some impact on the game I'll be shocked, because I don't see either of them playing more than 10 minutes tonight.
What bears watching more than that is how Mathieu Carle and Marc-Andre Bergeron are used, because one of the two will have to start logging some significant even strength minutes at some point if Jacqeus Martin wants his regular defencemen to survive this stretch awaiting the return of Ryan O'Byrne and Hal Gill.
Who would have thought in July that the loss of those two guys would be such a huge deal? But with Andrei Markov on the shelf, it's a significant loss.
But remember this, and I will do my best to remind you all from time to time, if the Habs win tonight they'll be back at .500 with an 8-8-0 record. And that is all you could ask of a team missing by far its best player.