Thursday, April 1, 2010

A defeated man

It's times like this I remember Bob Gainey's rant after last year's playoff exit, the one where he warned Montreal fans not to boo a promising young player out of town.

For Carey Price to hear even one boo after he was announced as tonight's third star in a 2-1 loss to Carolina was beyond ludicrous. Montreal fans are supposed to be knowledgeable, supposed to be able to recognize when a player deserves their praise or their scorn. Price did not deserve to be booed tonight, not by a longshot.

To be fair, the rest of his teammates got it pretty good in the final two minutes of regulation as they bumbled their way toward an attempt at a tying goal, one that very nearly came off the stick of Brian Gionta with about 10 seconds to play in regulation.

But then Price was named the game's third star, and he must have been thinking how this was at least a small reward for his solid's night work. Then he gets booed.

Booed for making 16 saves on 17 shots in the third period. Booed for getting only one goal of support from his teammates. Booed for losing a game he did everything in his power to win.

It's not right, and downright stupid.

Afterwards, Price spoke to reporters about the booing and admits it gets to him a little bit.

"That's a bit frustrating," he said. "But there's nothing I can do, it's out of my hands."

No, it was in his teammates hands to go and grab the win right from the opening 20 minutes, when the Hurricanes were chasing the Canadiens around the entire time, trying to keep up. Yes, Cam Ward was brilliant in limiting Montreal to one power play goal, but the Canadiens shooters lacked the finish necessary when you're dominating the play like they were.

Instead, Price was left to wonder what he has to do to get a win. The team has scored 11 goals in his last six losses, just under two a game. How can he be expected to win under those conditions?

It seems even he has stopped trying to come up with answers.

“I kind of stopped looking for reasons," he said. "I found what I need to do to play well, and that’s all I can do. If I’m not going to get rewarded for it, then so be it.”

But you know what? That's a conversation for next season. Right now, for whatever reason, the Canadiens simply don't win when Price is in. So he needs to stay out and Jaroslav Halak needs to start the final five games. Because after blowing two points Wednesday, the playoff situation is getting a little precarious for Montreal, though the Habs remain in control of their own destiny. But losses in winnable games are no longer an option, and Jacques Martin talking about the positives to be taken out of that game was completely inappropriate.

You take positives out of a loss in December. In late March, there are no positives in a loss.


Anonymous said...

Well said Arpon. The Price bashing is insane. Assuming he is second best to Halak (which I'm not) there's still no justification for booing your own player after a solid performance. It's times like these, with the whole city losing their minds over the playoff race that we tend to cement our spot in the infamous "Most Obnoxious Sports Fans" list.

Andrew Berkshire said...

A month ago I would agree with giving Halak the remainder of the starts, but he's turned in several stinkers since the olympic break, and as of now he's lost 3 of his last 4 games. If Halak loses against Phili, I don't think he should start the next game.

Anonymous said...

Like the old saying goes arpon, you don't know what you have until its gone. My fellow montreal fans will soon realize this when he is staring on another team.

Anonymous said...

It`s sad but the way the fans treat Price is no better then the way management treats Halak. Neither goalie gets any respect. In the end, both may choose to leave and who would blame them.

Anonymous said...

Price is going to be a great goalie, but after the way he got treated it's to late. He will go to arbitration, or refuse anything but short term enough for him to fix his image, and then he will bolt. Either be trade or free agency, it's to late.

Jordan said...

I don't get why they boo him, even if he isn't winning a lot of games. In a game like this one, the only way he could have won is with a shutout. There have been several of these games for him, and no goalie should be expected to get a shutout every game to get a win.

No thanks.

RGM said...

@Anon 8:04am - Carey doesn't have arbitration rights as an RFA coming off his entry-level deal. Halak, at age 24, does have arbitration rights and may invoke them given his strong play this season.

I didn't hear about the booing of Price when he was announced as 3rd star until this morning. I was watching the TSN broadcast and they cut to SportsCentre pretty much right after the final whistle. I think it's absolutely revolting that he can stop 25 of 26 Carolina shots, but he gets beaten by a legit superstar and Roman Hamrlik and these idiots decide to point the finger at him. Well, these so-called fans are likely to end up getting a bigger one right back if/when Carey leaves town.

pfhabs said...


-a significant number of Montreal 'fans' wouldn't know a puck from a cow patty

-they boo because their misplaced frustration with a young goaltender, who will be a star in the NHL, has been fueled partly by too much beer and partly fueled because of agenda ladened commentators on Antichambre and Attaque a 5

-their frustration with an average team should be taken to a mangement team who made the personnel errors; to a coach who has mishandled the playing time of 2 young goalies, to an owner who thinks repeating what has happened over the last 6 years will somehow turn itself around by employing the same people

-their frustration should not be taken out on a 22 year old goalie learning his trade and trying to grow as a pro and as a man in a emotionally charged fish bowl

-that being said it assumes those fans are smart enough to understand the root of their frustration...unfortunately they are too stupid to understand where their frustration should be placed

Anonymous said...

I've been a Habs and NHL fan for a very long time and in the distant past Montreal fans at these games were the most knowledgeable fans found absolutely anywhere. BUT there is a group now in the high up seats who are the dumbest hockey fans anywhere. These idiots sing "na na na goodbye" when up 3-0 in the FIRST period of a december game, or if up 2 goals with 8 minutes left in the game or their idiot soccer "ole, ole" chant too at the wrong time. They smash store windows and set police cars on fire BECAUSE habs won a FIRST round series or bo the american national anthem even though a half dozen or more americans play for the HABS. gainey in his last press conf after last years playoffs called them "@-holes in the high up seats". They were there again YESTERDAY TRUE TO FORM.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dude, Carey got booed for losing. Its very simple: Price = lose and Halak = 70% chance of winning. The boos was for Price's "W" regardless of how he played.


Andrew Berkshire said...

Actually in their last 4 games each goalie has a 75% chance of losing. But let's ignore all facts and continue to parrot the same crap we've said all year, right HH? Should've tanked, right?

Anonymous said...



Should have played Halak all year.

If there is a Halak band wagon I've been on it for almost 4 years now. He has proven (to me at least) that he is the best goalie in the Habs system at the moment. Cedrick may be closing in but right not its Halak. Halak has been a winning goalie at every level he has played. I believe in him… and so does the players in front of him.

As for Price, well, I was hopeful and I bought into the hype as well. However, it didn’t last. Watching R.J. Umberger blow shots past Price during the play-offs the other year opened my eyes.

The stats show that Halak is a better goalie than Price. This year, last year and every year.

Now, forget the stats… ask yourself this. Who would you put into your nets for the next 5 games?


Andrew Berkshire said...

If Halak loses to Philadelphia, the Price should start. If Halak wins, he can keep starting. I'm unaware exactly what you mean by Halak proving anything, he's played a career high of 40 games this year, hardly anything to judge a goalie by. He had a great stretch from December to February, but he's been underwhelming since the olympic break. I see no reason to favour him over Price if neither goalie winning, and Price has better stats since the break.

All that however, is irrelevant, because goaltending is not the problem, which you and many others seem intent on pretending. The fact that you're even bringing up a series from 2 years ago (one game of which Halak played just as poorly) tells me that you're only trying to stir up s***. Just like last night when you tried to blame Price somehow for the loss.

pmk said...

HH "PRICE got booed for losing"

Wow. that pretty much sums it up right there. Blaming last nights lost on price demostrates your ignorance and how little you know about hockey. Booing a goalie who lost 2-1 when NEITHER goal was his fault AND was named
3RD STAR shows how dumb Habs fans have become. Its embarrasing to be associated with to be honest.
A lot of credit has been given to the habs marketing department for attacting 'new' fans to the Canadiens - if only they had taught them a little more about hockey too...

Anonymous said...

I’m not blaming Price for losing last nights game. I blame JM for playing Price when the team seems to have more confidents in Halak. I don’t know why they play better in front of Halak but they do.

Price couldn’t even be faulted for the two goals last night. He played very well his past few starts. However, I don’t like loses and I don’t like giving a goalie the third star for only given up 2 goals on 35 shots. He got booed because he is synonymous with losing this season. Is it fair to Price? No. But life isn’t fair.

I like getting blasted for bring up stuff from two years ago and then pointing out that Halak has never played more than 40 games. You can either use past seasons or not. Pick one.

I’m not here to stir the pot. Don’t get me wrong. I’m simply defending the goalie I believe in and my opinions as well.

I’m not in the locker room and I really have no idea whats really going on. I can only judge what I see from the play on the ice the same as you.

Andrew Berkshire said...

What's the difference in blaming Price or blaming Martin for starting Price? Both imply that Price was at fault for the loss.

The team's play has not been affected by which goaltender is in net lately, as I said, both goalies have gone 1-2-1 in their last 4 games. Exact same records, but Price has better statistics over those games.

Anonymous said...

Canadiens 2 Maple Leafs 3 SO
Senators 2 Canadiens 0
Canadiens 2 Sabres 3 SO
Panthers 1 Canadiens 4
Devils 4 Canadiens 2
Hurricanes 2 Canadiens 1

In the last 6 games the Habs have scored a total of 11 goals in 18 periods plus 2 overtime periods 0r 370 minutes. That is less than 2 goals per game and you don't win by scoring less than 2 goals per game.

The problem is not the goalie! Certainly not last night.

Anonymous said...

On the above list:

Panthers 1 Canadiens 4

2 of those goals into an open net! so make it 9 goals in the last 6 games against a goalie.

Anonymous said...


"Martin said today that goaltending is not his problem, but he wouldn't criticize the fans who booed Carey Price when he was announced as third star of the Wednesday game, a 2-1 loss. Fans pay good dollar for their entertainment, Martin said, and are entitled to their opinion."


guess martin wants to make sure those upper seats fans don't turn against him. must make price feel good his coach supports him.

Anonymous said...

Win percentage or simple wins/GP. Check this out...

My question is... what does this stat mean?

NAME Win %
1 Antti Niemi 63.6%
2 Jose Theodore 61.4%
3 Evgeni Nabokov 60.6%
4 Ilya Bryzgalov 60.6%
5 Ryan Miller 60.0%
6 Jaroslav Halak 60.0%
7 Roberto Luongo 59.4%
8 Martin Brodeur 57.7%
9 Jonathan Quick 57.4%
10 Jimmy Howard 56.9%
11 Semyon Varlamov 56.5%
12 Fleury 55.6%
13 Ray Emery 55.2%
14 Cristobal Huet 54.2%
15 Brian Elliott 53.8%
16 Craig Anderson 53.7%
17 Pekka Rinne 53.7%
18 Michal Neuvirth 52.9%
19 Jonas Hiller 50.9%
20 Kiprusoff 50.0%
21 Leighton 50.0%
22 Dan Ellis 48.4%
23 Chris Mason 48.2%
24 Dwayne Roloson 47.9%
25 Tuukka Rask 47.5%
26 Backstrom 47.3%
27 McElhinney 46.7%
28 Lundqvist 46.3%
29 Johan Hedberg 45.5%
30 Jason LaBarbera 43.8%
31 Thomas Greiss 43.8%
32 Niittymaki 43.5%
33 Brent Johnson 42.9%
34 Andrew Raycroft 42.1%
35 Ty Conklin 41.7%
36 Marty Turco 40.4%
37 Gustavsson 40.0%
38 Alex Auld 39.1%
39 Khabibulin 38.9%
40 Clemmensen 38.9%
41 Manny Legace 38.5%
42 Peter Budaj 38.5%
43 Tim Thomas 38.1%
44 Cam Ward 37.2%
45 Tomas Vokoun 37.1%
46 Steve Mason 37.0%
47 Mathieu Garon 36.4%
48 Josh Harding 36.0%
49 Ondrej Pavelec 35.0%
50 Pascal Leclaire 34.4%
51 Deslauriers 33.3%
52 Chris Osgood 31.8%
53 Carey Price 31.7%
54 Vesa Toskala 29.0%
55 Mike Smith 28.9%
56 Patrick Lalime 28.6%
57 Giguere 25.0%
58 Martin Biron 25.0%
59 Brian Boucher 22.2%

Anonymous said...

i complteley agree with this! price played his best and come one.....its not like he lost against tornto or something he lost against one of the best teams in the NHL! and even so he did make over 30 saves and not one person had the right to boo him! hes a great goalie and is still getting better! And plus - no one ever aknowledges when he wins, only when he loses. There is never a booming loud cheer for him when he plays great (which he did) so who the hell has the right to boo him when he loses after playing his best??