Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is the Price right in Montreal? I'm not so sure

Tonight = game night. Habs and Pens. It's gonna be a rough one.

It was 22 years ago tonight that Patrick Roy made his NHL debut with the Habs against, you guessed it, the Pens. Seems as though Carey Price is going to get the start tonight against the Penguins. Jump to whatever "jump to conclusions" conclusion you want, who cares.

To be truthful, the whole Price thing is confusing me.

At the beginning of training camp, Carbo said that he wasn't going to have Price on the team as a backup goalie because he's only 20 and he could use time in the AHL to develop. As a backup, he'd be sitting on the bench most of the time, so Carbo was right on this one.

At the end of camp, Huet got the nod as starting goalie, but Gainey overruled Carbo and put Price in as backup, sending Halak back to Hamilton. Huh?

Why would Gainey do this? We all know that Price is going to be the franchise goalie in Montreal, and we know that he won the Calder Cup with Hamilton last season (and he was playoff MVP), along with tons of other honours. Blah blah, whatever. What matters is that Halak has more experience and has proven himself to be capable of playing in the NHL - he stole Abby's job at the end of last season (though that's not exactly hard to do). Price had a hard time in the pre-season games and could use a lot more playing time in Hamilton in order to polish his skills. Everyone knows that goalies take longer to develop, and this lack of play could set him back even further.

I have to wonder what Carbo's motives are for starting Price in tonight's game. I know that the Pens haven't come flying out of the gates this season like Ottawa, but it's not like they're a crap team. They have one of the best offenses in the NHL, led by the best player in the world. I think that Price will have to stand on his head like no other, or risk disaster. Does Carbo think that Price will falter tonight, and could this be his way of sending him to Hamilton in exchange for Halak? It's possible. I just hope that the Montreal crowd doesn't get on Price if he does crash and burn - we all know how critical they are of their own.

One thing's for sure though: at the end of the night, we'll know if Gainey's a genius, or if he made a really stupid mistake.

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