When the Montreal Canadiens search for answers as to why they failed to advance past the second round in this year's playoffs, they can pin the blame upon themselves.
The team had promise. With a good core of young talent, grit, and veteran leaders who were playing solid hockey, the signs were encouraging.
What's more is the team's starting goalie, Carey Price, had a fantastic year and should be considered a phenom between the pipes for years to come.
That's why, if I were Bob Gainey, I would be furious with the decisions that head coach Guy Carbonneau made in the second round against the Philadelphia Flyers. He pulled Price in Game Three, and starting backup goalie Jaroslav Halak in Game Four.
Gainey traded away Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals for a second round pick in this year's entry draft, with the intentions of having Price take the reins between the pipes far into the future.
It can be argued that pulling your goalie can be a smart move in that it usually makes your team play harder.
However, Price gave up four goals on 30 shots through two periods, which is hardly a lackluster effort. Price had kept the Canadiens in the game and the pull seemed to be a rookie decision.
Carbonneau then decided to start Halak in Game Four, instead of giving Price, who played a huge role in taking the team up to first place in the Eastern Conference, a chance to redeem himself.
By the time Game Five rolled around, Price must have felt like the team had left him for dead. This was evident when his teammates ignored him as he skated off to the dressing room at the end of Game Four.
Toying with a goalie's confidence is a dangerous game. Doing so with a young goalie like 20-year-old Carey Price is asking for trouble.
It won't be surprising if Carbonneau finds himself handing out resumes for a new coaching position come training camp.
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