April 21, 2010
Prevailing wisdom entering the Montreal Canadiens' series with the Washington Capitals was that Jaroslav Halak(notes) would have to be the difference if the Habs were to upset the East's No. 1 seed. (OK, maybe it was Tomas Plekanec's wisdom, but wisdom nonetheless.)
If Halak wasn't still the starter in, say, Game 4 of the series, one could assume the Canadiens were in trouble.
Price stopped 21 of 23 shots in relief of Halak in Game 3. It was his first postseason appearance at Bell Centre since giving the heckling crowd the St. Patrick Salute in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins last year. In his previous nine playoff home games, Price has given up 27 goals but had one shutout against Boston two years ago.
While Team 990 is the only outlet reporting Price as the starter, Pat Hickey of The Gazette wrote earlier today that the signs pointed to Price, and offered some positives if the controversial keeper gets the nod:
For starters, he enjoyed success in the regular season against Washington. He played all four games and posted a 2-1-1 record. He also has more size than Halak and that could come in handy in what has become a physical series.
In Game 2, the Canadiens complained that the Capitals were trying run Halak. Martin voiced his concerns to the NHL supervisor for the series and the situation was better Monday.
Were it our call, we'd have gone back to The Client instead of Price in Game 4, with a vote of confidence that it's his series to lose. With the series at 2-1, the Habs are still in it and Halak is still the goaltender that gives them the best chance at the upset, based on everything we've seen from the two goalies this season.
But who knows; if he's actually the starter, maybe this is Price's moment? Then again, maybe it'll be the Capitals power play's moment (0-for-14 this series), in which case the Habs could toss Jocelyn Thibault(notes) between the irons and call it a series ...