The Montreal Canadiens know how important Carey Price is — and how difficult life can be without him — which is why head coach Michel Therrien wants the NHL to crack down on skaters running over goalies.
“It has to stop,” Therrien said, per the Globe and Mail. “It’s not normal that players let themselves fall into the goalie like that. Those players never fall into the boards that way, but they’re able to fall into a goalie and risk causing an injury.”
Montreal knows the risks associated with running into netminders. Last spring, Rangers forward Chris Kreider knocked Price out of the Eastern Conference Final after colliding with him during the opening game of the series:
Kreider wasn’t penalized on the play and received no supplemental discipline from the NHL. The Canadiens, meanwhile, felt the play was borderline malicious and possibly intentional.
“I don’t think he’s a real dirty player,” Brandon Prust said of Kreider. “But in this situation he went skates first right into his leg. We call that accidentally on purpose.”
“Looking at the incident, it’s a reckless play,” Therrien added. ‘That’s the truth.”
This season, with Price playing at an MVP-level, the Habs seem even more concerned about him getting bowled over. There were collisions recently in games with Buffalo (Patrick Kaleta) and Washington (Troy Brouwer) that drew the club’s ire, though Therrien insists this isn’t just about protecting Price — it’s about goalies across the league.
“Even if you have a defenseman who is six foot six, 250 pounds, if you lose position and the player on the offensive side lets himself go into the goalie, there’s nothing you can do,” he said. “I’m not only talking about Carey Price, I’m talking about goalies in the NHL.
“We have to find a way to protect them.”