The Cost of Being Carey Price

Michael Cline@mclinedSenior Analyst IApril 25, 2009

"What do you expect?"

The popular website Twitter asks people daily "What are you doing?" Maybe I'll start a website that asks people "What do you expect?"

Expectation is a funny thing. We always expect things to go better than they actually do. We want the best for our lives, for those of our families, kids, and friends. It would be strange for us not to have those strong feelings.

And as a fan in the world of sport, we always have high expectations for our teams. From the owner down to the guy who rides the pine, we want nothing more than our expectations to become reality.

But there is always that chance that our expectations really aren't reasonable.

Carey Price is the 21 year old starting goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, the most storied team in the NHL.

The 2008-2009 season was his first as the team's number one goalie, and expectations for his first full season in net were astounding.

They were reminiscent of a man who was walking the streets of Galilee a little over 2000 years ago. Crazy thing is that it took Jesus Christ 30 years before anyone recognized him as their Messiah.

So why are fans so quick to give a new young player such expectations to live up to entering the league? Especially entering the league in Montreal?

Welcome to the life of Carey Price.

Given the reigns this year, fans were sure that they'd see him hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head when it was all said and done.

But nobody anticipated the set-backs that would occur.

He started the season off great, and everyone was happy! But then came injury, and then what some would say a hasty return.

Price struggled to find his mojo and was battered by the opposition, all the while back-up goalie Jaroslav Halak was making his name known in Montreal and around the league by having exceptional performances in net.

But as the season was winding down, Price regained his composure and was playing the hockey that everyone knew he was capable of playing. He was excelling at a level that most knew he'd achieve at some point in his career.

The dream was back; hope was alive.

The fans of Montreal gained faith in Price and were believing that the Canadiens, who as a team struggled for most of the season, were going to knock off the top seeded Bruins from Boston.

The dream quickly faded.

The Bruins offense was simply incredible and the Canadiens' defense was despicable.

Carey Price was bombarded with shots for the whole series, and fell in four straight games, giving the Bruins fans an opportunity to carry around a broom in celebration.

And who carries the blame for these losses? For the quick departure from the 2009 playoffs?

Carey Price.

But to blame one player for an entire team's failure is just ridiculous.

Sure Price let a lot of pucks fly by him, but his offense failed to control the puck and the defense failed to keep the Bruins out of their zone.

The truth is, Carey Price is an exceptional goalie and he will hoist the Stanley Cup over his head in the near future.

At 21 years old, its just not his time. He has a great foundation of skill and talent, and with the proper training and experience he'll be one of the greatest goalies Montreal has ever witnessed.

But you can't build a house in a day, and you can't turn the Titanic on a dime. It takes time.

As a fan, its upsetting to see your team go down in defeat, but don't let the expectations outweigh reality.

Allow room for improvement. Allow the players to fail and to learn from their mistakes.

Allow the young players, who the team has invested in for the future, to actually become the players of the future.


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