“It’s just like old times,” the 22-year-old opened with, referring to the swarm of microphones that surrounded him this morning.
“It’s something I’m getting used to.”
Price said the he was refreshed and took time to reflect on things and prepare mentally for the upcoming season.
He then commented on the off-season house cleaning of the Canadiens at a player an coaching level.
“It’s always hard to see guys leave,” he said. “It’s never easy to see a teammate leave or a bunch of teammates leave.”
“I’ve met all the guys that we’ve acquired and I really like them. I think we’re going to have a real good chemistry this year.”
Over the summer, new head coach Jacques Martin paid Price a visit during his off-season workouts. The visit left a real positive mark on the young goaltender.
“That was pretty important,” Price said. It gives the players a lot of confidence, especially for myself knowing that he cares about me enough to come all the way to Calgary to see me skate.”
The pair discussed Price’s off-season, what the plans for the upcoming season would be and what Martin expects from his players.
“He understands the position of goaltending,” Price said, noting Martin was a former goalie. “I think having a coach who understands that is going to help me a lot.”
Although goaltending coach Rollie Melanson was dismissed by the Habs, Price had nothing but good thoughts on his former instructor.
“Rollie kinda made me the goalie who I am today,” he said. “He really rounded my game off since I was drafted.”
Price said the moves made on defense (Hal Gill, Paul Mara, Jaroslav Spacek) will help him to deal with the bodies in front of the net, something that led to the destruction of his confidence last year.
“I’ve always loved big defensemen,” he said. “I think the acquisitions we made are going to be really good.”
He will be coming into the summer at the same size as last season and feels that his 2008 summer workouts to get his weight down may have added to wearing him down last season.
Price’s key focus this season will be his better preparation for a game, something he admits he didn’t do as strongly in his career.
It will be a challenging season for the young goalie, factoring in a tightened schedule this year, due to the Olympics, a RFA season as well as a very capable Jaroslav Halak looking over his shoulder in the event he should falter.
This article originally appears in my blog Ya! The Habs Rule!
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