Carey Price: Live & Learn

Matt EichelSenior Writer IMay 19, 2008

Sometimes success needs some experience.

Just like how sometimes coffee needs cream or sugar.

For Carey Price, even with all of his previous experience, there seems to be a need for more learning and living through the pressure cooker of the NHL.

But with experience comes the knowledge of when to take a break.

"It seems like I've been playing for two years straight," admitted the 20-year-old Williams Lake native.  "It'll be nice to get away and go fishing—and turn my phone off for a month."

After an up-and-down season that culminated with Price obtaining the No. 1 job in hockey-mad Montreal, the young netminder is feeling the fatigue of a World Junior Gold Medal combined with last season's heroic run to a Calder Cup Championship in Hamilton

And all of that was topped with the pressure of a first place-finish in the NHL this season.

"I love playing, but I think at the end I was getting a little worn out."

Despite an early second-round exit via the Philadelphia Flyers in five quick games, Price earned the reputation as a potential star player in the future.

And one the Canadiens have desperately needed for years.

Posting up incredible numbers in his rookie campaign (24-12-3, 2.56 GAA, .920 SV%), Price fell just short of a nomination ballot for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year.

Yet, despite that disappointment, Price felt more disappointed about his play during that second-round series.  

"The biggest thing that got on my mind was letting my team down," admitted Price.  "That was the biggest thing nagging me."

Despite that second-round exit, Price shined in the first round, despite minor relapses in Games 5 & 6 against the Boston Bruins in which the Canadiens seemed to lack a cut-throat mentality which they needed to finish the Bruins off in less than seven games.

Coming off Game 6, Price was sensational in Game 7, shutting out the Bruins and moving the Canadiens on to the second round with his second career playoff shutout.

Among other things, Price joined a rare group of goalies to advance in the first round of the playoffs before turning 21, joining the likes of Patrick Roy (1986), Mike Moffat (1982), Andy Moog (1981), and Harry Lumley (1945).

But Price will never let pride get in the way of his play.

"I will never compare myself with Patrick (Roy), ever.  Even when my career is over.  He's him and I'm me.  Two totally different people."

There is resilience in Price's mantra, and the Canadiens hope he has it come training camp. But the Canadiens look like they have the goalie of the future in their net right now.