Montreal Canadiens: Confident Carey Price Means Wins For Montreal

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Montreal Canadiens: Confident Carey Price Means Wins For Montreal
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In Thursday night's shootout win against the Boston Bruins, we saw the very best of what Carey Price is capable of doing.

When Price is on top of his game, he can win games on his own, as was shown in a 42-save winning effort against the rival Bruins, which marked the 50th win in his young career.

What was more encouraging though on the whole was that Price's demeanor and emotions seemed to be kept in check for much of the game. Dating back to his outstanding play at the World Junior Championships in 2007, what has always struck me about Carey Price is how calm and impenetrable his psyche seems to be.

Last year however, Price seemed to have a difficult time dealing with the emotional roller coaster that is playing goal for the Montreal Canadiens

Whether it be basking in victory or lamenting in defeat, it seemed that Price was unable to maintain his trademark calmness. Nowhere was this more evident than when after making the final, winning save in a shootout against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the young netminder struck a pose similar to Usain Bolt's signature pose.

There's nothing wrong with being happy about winning, but in that case, the then 21-year old took it a bit too far.

On the other end of the spectrum, Price couldn't keep his emotions in check when things were not going his way, as he made a habit of smashing his stick on the goal posts after losses.

Guy Carbonneau hailed Price's intensity, saying that it showed that he cared, but after another tough loss, no one on the team wants to see that.

This year though, things seem to be turning around for the third-year player.

Barring a seven goal shelling in Vancouver, Price has been solid in almost every one of his starts, the finest performance coming against the Bruins Thursday night.

More importantly, he seems to be on a more even keel throughout the game, never stooping too low, or flying too high. That constant mental state has resulted in better play from Price, who seems to have improved his already incredible puck handling over the offseason.

The key now for Jacques Martin and the rest of the Canadiens' coaching staff is to keep rolling with Price and instill a sense of confidence in him, but not confident to the point where he is too comfortable, which seemed to be the problem last year.

While Jaroslav Halak has performed admirably so far this season, it's time that Martin establishes that Price is his No. 1, and the best way he can do that is by giving him the net on a consistent basis.

However, the Canadiens' coach has to uphold his philosophy that his goaltenders have to perform to earn starts, but looking at the way Price has been playing, it shouldn't be long before this alternating system comes to an end.

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