King of the road
With the help of Price’s three sparkling performances over the first week of March, the Canadiens returned to Montreal six points better than when they left and poised to make a move up the Eastern Conference ladder.
Turning aside 113 out of the 116 shots he faced over his last three games was enough to put Price on the NHL’s radar once more, earning him the league’s third star of the week a day before he’ll be presented with the Molson Cup for the month of February at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.
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While Price may be wisely choosing to keep his sights set on the points up for grabs, the all-star netminder’s teammates are quick to point out what his overall consistency has been allowing the group to achieve since the start of the season.
“Carey has been the biggest part of us winning games since the beginning of the season. They should definitely be looking at him for an award at the end of the season,” said Pouliot on the subject of Price having a shot at the 2010-11 Vezina. “He got absolutely bombarded by shots in the last three games we played and he’s the reason we came away with the points. It’s been like that all year. A great team needs to have a great goalie and that’s what he’s been for us night in and night out.”
The Canadiens’ head-coach Jacques Martin couldn’t agree more on what Price’s development in the crease has meant for the organization.
“The way Carey has been playing this season has been exceptional,” dropped Martin after his team’s Monday morning practice. “He’s been probably our best and most consistent player all year long and he’s given us a chance to win games every time he plays. He’s matured a lot as a person and as a player and has come a long way with his technique.”
While Price may have the acknowledgement of the League to show for a week that saw him post a .974 save-percentage and 1.00 goals against average and helped him climb to the top of the NHL with 31 wins on the season, the 23-year-old insists it’s his teammates that have made the year one to remember.
“I think one of the best things about this year for me has been the room in general. We’re all really tight here and this room is made up of a great cast of characters. There are guys from everywhere playing here right now and it makes it a real pleasure to get up and come to the rink everyday,” said Price. “This is probably the most fun I’ve had playing hockey in my whole career.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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