Last night was not a good one for either Carey Price or for the Montreal Canadiens fans who booed him after the Habs 4-2 loss to the Bruins in pre-season action.
Losing the perspective that it was a pre-season game to let their without-a-doubt number one goaltender know they weren’t thrilled with his lackluster performance is one thing, the visceral reaction it’s getting from Price’s teammates is rather incredible however.
The Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey heard from a host of Price’s teammates about their thoughts on Price being booed off the ice after giving up four goals on ten shots in 30 minutes of work in the team’s first pre-season game of the year. To say that his teammates are behind him is an understatement.
“Nobody’s booing Carey in this room,” Michael Cammalleri said. “If (the fans) want to identify with this team and be part of this team, we’re all supporting him. So jump on board.”
Cammalleri went on to say: “We’re all men in here, Carey’s a man and he’s going to pick himself up and play great.” He said Price should be able to handle the criticism, but the goaltender was conspicuously absent from the post-game media session in the dressing room.
[Habs coach Jacques] Martin said that, while the Montreal fans are passionate and have a right to express their opinions, he felt there was little Price could do to keep the puck out of the net.
“The first goal was a deflection and the (last) two were the result of breakaways after turnovers,” Martin said.
It’s good that his teammates have his back, of course, but what didn’t help Price at all last night was not facing up to the media afterward as he opted to not speak with reporters. Nothing like letting an ugly night sit and fester in the minds of fans in hockey’s most insane city. Today, Price did address things and made it known that he certainly doesn’t think it’s the end of the world.
“Relax, chill out,” the Habs goaltender said Thursday. “We’ve got lots of time. We’re not winning the Stanley Cup in the first exhibition game.”
I can’t help but have my mind have those words come out of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mouth in “Batman And Robin” when reading them. It’s the correct point to be made from Price but he didn’t quite let it go at that.
“I don’t know what (the fans’) message was but I don’t think it’s the correct way to go about things,” said Price.
Lecturing Montreal’s fans on how to conduct themselves doesn’t usually go over too well. Consider this already interesting season subplot to be more of a prominent one. Carey Price vs. Habs fans is the sort of media wrestling match we can get behind.