Updates from Saturday, Mar. 15
The Canadiens' official Twitter feed reported some good news regarding Price's status for Saturday's game:
Michel Therrien just confirmed that Carey Price will be up vs. Senators. #gohabsgo— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 15, 2014
Updates from Friday, Mar. 14
The Canadiens' official Twitter feed has the latest on Price's status:
"Carey Price is still day-to-day but we're pretty happy about the way he practiced today" - Michel Therrien— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 14, 2014
Dave Stubbs of The Gazette passed on some of head coach Michel Therrien's thoughts on his injured keeper:
Updates from Tuesday, Mar. 11
DJ Bean of WEEI.com has an update on Carey Price's rehab:
As you've seen if you follow any Habs reporters, Carey Price is practicing and facing shots today.— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) March 11, 2014
Updates from Sunday, Mar. 9
Dave Stubbs of The Montreal Gazette reports when Carey Price is hoping to return:
Updates from Tuesday, Mar. 4
John Lu of TSN has the latest on Carey Price's status:
#Habs Price says his condition flared up during 2nd Team Canada practice. Played the whole Olympics in "manageable" discomfort.— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) March 4, 2014
Updates from Friday, Feb. 28
John Lu of TSN has the latest on Price:
Goaltender Carey Price appeared prime for the NHL's stretch run after leading Canada to Olympic gold in Sochi, Russia, but the Montreal Canadiens backstop will have to overcome an injury first.
According to the Habs' official Twitter account, Price is expected to miss at least the next two games with a lower-body ailment:
"During the Olympics, Carey aggravated a lower-body injury. He will not play the next two games and he's day-to-day" - Michel Therrien— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 26, 2014
The exact nature of the injury wasn't disclosed, but Mike Morreale of NHL.com is reporting that Price left the Canadiens' Wednesday morning skate with apparent leg discomfort:
Carey Price leaves Canadiens morning skate favoring his leg, won't return. http://t.co/tijf7E18Hd— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) February 26, 2014
Price will be scratched from Montreal's first game back following the Olympic break on Wednesday night against the Detroit Red Wings. To make up for his absence, goalie Dustin Tokarski has been recalled from the AHL:
Dustin Tokarski has been recalled from the Hamilton Bulldogs. Carey Price (lower-body injury) will not be in uniform tonight.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 26, 2014
Dave Stubbs of The Montreal Gazette reported that Canada coach Mike Babcock was unaware of any injury the keeper may have been carrying when the Olympics began.
Marc Antoine Godin of La Presse in Montreal also noted that Sidney Crosby was aware of Price's ailment:
Sidney Crosby says he was aware in Sochi that Carey Price was hurt but although it had to be taken care of, he didn't think he'd miss time.— Marc Antoine Godin (@MAGodin) February 26, 2014
The Canadiens also boast netminder Peter Budaj, who has been fantastic in limited action this season. Budaj has a goals against average of 1.97, and he is more than capable of filling in for Price over the short term.
Price was absolutely lights out at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He went undefeated and posted a 0.59 goals against average along with an incredible save percentage of .971. Price made no mention of an injury upon his return to Montreal on Monday, although he did discuss the mental toll that competing in the Olympics took on him, per The Canadian Press via CBC Sports.
"Emotionally, it was a very trying time," Price said. "I'm just taking the next couple of days to relax and unwind. I've always been good at focusing on my immediate goals and, when I come back, I'll be ready."
How long can the Canadiens remain in contention without Price?
It is unclear how long Price was hampered by the injury during the Olympic tournament, but it didn't seem to hamper him during crunch time. Price shut out the rival Americans in the semifinals and he followed that up with another clutch shutout against Sweden in the gold-medal game.
Most goalies dream of playing at that level while fully healthy, but it's difficult to blame the Habs for taking a cautious approach since Price will be leaned upon heavily during the team's playoff push.
Montreal currently holds the third and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division with 70 points. It has a game in hand on the Toronto Maple Leafs who also have 70 points, so it will be an interesting battle moving forward.
The Canadiens can absolutely thrive without Price for a couple games, but they aren't legitimate contenders if this injury is worse than expected. Biting the bullet now to prevent further injury is a wise strategy, and it could pay big dividends come playoff time.
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