Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau says it will be a game time decision but who's kidding who?
Carey Price WILL start game four Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Granted his performances in the first three games are clearly not his best on record but nonetheless we will see him back between the pipes tomorrow
"I'm twenty years old, I'm finding out the hard way that the playoffs aren't easy. It's better to find out now than to find out at thirty." , Price told the media after Tuesday's practice. "When things go sour on you, you can't just give up.
Every goaltender at some point has had bad playoff series at one point in their careers. One thing the media and fans need to remember that this is just Price's second NHL series so no need to panic and as the Habs #1 goalie said "It's a game away from turning around."
Price elected to wait until today to talk to the media to give himself some time to reflect on what happened Monday night. "I got the jist of it", Price said of why Carbonneau pulled him after two periods when he allowed 3 goals on 6 shots.
He was clearly not on his game Monday, and pulling him was a text book coaching move to let him observe and re focus on the next game and acts as a wake up call to the rest of the team.
The Canadiens did respond with two goals in the third period so obviously the strategy worked.
Going into game 5 the Canadiens will have to do two key things.
1. Protect their own goaltender and get back to blocking shots and keeping the Flyers out of his way. Price is a big boy who knows the Flyers trash talking is part of the game and will shove a Briere or Richards away from his crease when needed but should not be doing it alone.
2. Get in the face of Flyers goaltender Martin Biron. The Habs have been blasting shots at the Flyers netminder but they are not crashing the net or getting bodies in front of him. Note the two game three goals by Montreal were right on top of Biron and not unobstructed shots from 30 or 40 feet away.
If the Canadiens have better success with their offensive pressure and their defense can keep the lanes open, we can expect to see much better results from their rookie goalie Wednesday night.