A glimmer of hope for a team facing elimination: Their injured starting goalie, sidelined for the series, practicing in his full gear again.
We’re of course talking about Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning last month, whose appearance on the ice before Game 4 was meant to inspire the Bolts to extend their series as long as they could so that he might back it back. Alas, the Montreal Canadiens finished the series in four games.
Fast forward two rounds, and there’s eerie symmetry: Carey Price, injured on a collision with Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers in Game 1, back on the ice in full gear and practicing on the morning of Game 5 in the Easter Conference Final.
Hope? Carey be thy name.
Except Canadiens coach Michel Therrien tossed some cold water in the faces of Montreal fans by reiterating that Price is out for the series.
This was Price’s first time back on the ice in full gear. He skated Sunday for about 20 minutes without his equipment on. Canadiens coach Michel Therrien maintained after Price’s skate Sunday that he will not be able to play in the Eastern Conference finals.
“He’s not going to play, like I said before,” Therrien said Sunday. “He’s not going to play in the series, you know. It’s just part of the rehab, that’s all. It’s a great sign.”
And obviously we've never known a coach to downplay the chances that an injured star will appear again in a series.
I don't know ... something fishy about this.
Dustin Tokarski, who hasn’t played poorly at all in Price’s absence, will get the Game 5 start on Tuesday night with the Rangers up 3-1 in the series.