HABS GOALTENDING NO LAUGHING MATTER


Full disclosure.

I was not in Ottawa for today’s media scrum involving Canadiens’ head coach Michel Therrien.  However, Richard Labbe of La Presse tweeted the following:

@Richardlabbe: M.Therrien, on whether P.Budaj should start tomorrow night instead of Price: “Are you serious?”

TSN’s John Lu added: @JohnLuTSNMtl#Habs Therrien laughs at the notion of changing starting goalies for Game 4. “Carey Price will start tomorrow night.”

Let me ask you this: what was so funny about the notion of changing starting goalies for game four tomorrow night?  Granted, Carey Price can not be held solely responsible for the two games the Canadiens have dropped in this series against the Sens.  Win as a team. Lose as a team.  And that was one ugly-looking Habs’ team in last night’s 6-1 loss; which gave Ottawa a 2-1 series lead.

If you look up frustration in the dictionary, there’s a picture of your Montreal Canadiens beside it.

The question would certainly have to be considered a serious one.  Peter Budaj has performed well in a backup role this season; to the point that he received a mid-season contract extension as an early “job well done.”  The Canadiens owe Carey Price absolutely nothing. Their goal is to win hockey games: starting tomorrow night in Ottawa.  If Peter Budaj offers up a better chance at reaching that goal (and that’s a big hypothetical IF) why WOULDN’T you consider starting him?

Seriously.

Having said that, I am not surprised in the least that Therrien will go back to Price tomorrow night. I think it’s also a given that the coach will go back to Price Thursday night when the series returns to Montreal. After that: who knows? This series could be over by then.

In theory.

Heading into this series, Therrien said he had all the confidence in the world in Price.  I, too, expected Price to deliver the mail in this series.

It hasn’t happened. Yet.

In the meantime, the Canadiens will have to put last night’s embarassing performance behind them. PK Subban will have to lay off the theatrics and get back to playing Norris-trophy style hockey.  Josh Gorges has to shake off last night’s performance which saw him try to blast a shot at Kyle Turris in the final seconds (it certainly looked like that was his intention. Very un-Josh Gorges like.) Rene Bourque has to get back to playing the impressive hockey he’s been playing and lay off the cheap shots.

The list goes on and on.

Most of all, the Canadiens desperately need to win a hockey game.

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About ahefter

I have covered hockey extensively during my 30-year sports broadcasting career. From the Miracle on Ice at Lake Placid to the Edmonton Oiler dynasty years, I've shared my views on hockey with listeners in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. You can "catch me in action" on Youtube at the following URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n5BdB9ngYw My radio stops include TSN 690 Montreal, CJAD Montreal, CKNW Vancouver, and CKEY Toronto. I also ran the Canadian Press sports desk (radio). My travels as a network reporter have taken me to four Olympics, most recently Vancouver 2010. I'm currently an Applied Assistant Professor within the School of Communication at the University of Hartford.
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