With all due respect to the Canadiens fans, especially his own detractors, and despite what his stats tend to show, Carey Price says he loves the way he has been playing since the start of the campaign.
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“I think I’m playing very well, even if I’m never completely satisfied,” said the 33-year-old goalkeeper by videoconference on Tuesday at noon, after training for the Habs. The team is playing well, we are collecting points in the standings, so right now I’m happy. “
In seven starts since the start of the season, Price is 4-1-2, a very respectable record. However, his efficiency rate (.899) and goals against average (2.81) raise question marks.
Many of them have noticed that Jake Allen, his new accomplice, despite a similar record of 4-1-0, shows much more convincing statistics (save rate of .940 and goals-against average of 1.81).
Price is not wrong when he says that the most important thing is that the team wins. He was no doubt relieved that the success of the training no longer rests solely on his shoulders.
This is the fourth time in his career that he has scored less than .900 after the first seven games of a season. Two of the first three chances resulted in some of the worst winters in team history.
We must not forget that there was no preparatory game. Usually, Price sees action in four or five of these games before the official schedule kicks in. And he’s rarely at the top of his game.
“(The preparatory matches) allow you to get used to the reading from the game, to what surrounds us on the ice and to the details that make a big difference. As with the players, it comes down to spending time on the ice, ”he said.
Therefore, the work in training becomes even more important. Speaking of which, Price maintained that he has been spending time on several aspects of his game with goaltending coach Stéphane Waite since training camp began.
“I actually work on everything. Keeping goals is like playing golf – there is always something to work on. There are details to work on every day. It is a constant evolution. “
Allen, an advantage
Obviously, the fact that Price is betting on a high-quality auxiliary for the first time since Jaroslav Halak has not failed to bring an old debate back to the table.
In the first four weeks of operations, Price and Allen practically split the work equally. This may be the case again, Wednesday night and Thursday, when the Montrealers will host, in quick succession, the Maple Leafs and the Oilers.
“We are in a quieter part of the calendar and I understand the situation. Jake delivers quality performance. It gives me the opportunity, during training, to focus on what I need to improve, ”said Price.
Claude Julien recognizes that it is easier for a goalkeeper to take his place when he often takes place in front of the net. Despite everything, he does not intend to change the plan established at the start of the season.
” It’s coming “
However, we can expect to see Price get closer to the pace he’s used to starting on February 20, when the Habs return to action after six days of inactivity.
“For now, we are in a portion of the calendar that seems easy. We could give Carey more games. But we drew up a plan in which we agreed that, for the good of the team, it was better to balance the tasks, ”recalled the Canadiens head coach.
“It’s the same with any goalie. The more he plays, the more he finds his rhythm. And it’s coming. It will fall into place at the return of the quieter week, ”he added.
As of that moment, the Canadian will play 39 games in 73 days, including five streaks of two games in two nights.
What to see the action on a fairly regular basis to find your rhythm.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7116