Canadian: For Carey Price, experience comes before results

MONTREAL – In front of the cameras, Carey Price is unrecognizable.

The impassive and laconic man who reluctantly introduced himself to journalists in recent years now answers questions in a relaxed and generous way. His smile, once as rare as a Stanley Cup on Sainte-Catherine, radiates everywhere. The goalkeeper projects a serenity that we no longer knew about him and which is frankly good to see.

Stuck on the wrong side of a shutout for the second time in as many outings since returning to action on Tuesday, Price accepts his fate with the grace of the survivor who has nothing to express but gratitude for having touched firm ground.

“It was a little less emotional and I got more comfortable in general. I felt more in control,” he commented after a 28-save performance in a 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

” It’s coming. I’m starting to feel that everything is a little less chaotic in the heat of the moment. Anyone who has been away from the game for a long time can relate to me. We don’t read what’s happening in front of us as easily as we normally would. But slowly, things are slowing down in front of me. »

For one of the few times in his career, results are secondary for Price. The disastrous season that his teammates suffered in his absence is coming to an end. He’ll put the leggings on three more, maybe four times, then put them away for a long summer vacation. But there is a world of difference between the rest that awaits him and that which has been imposed on him in recent months. And these few seemingly innocuous matches have something to do with it.

The answers Price is getting in net that he was forced to leave are worth more than all the numbers that will be on his record in his 15and season will be officially completed.

“That’s a big part of why I wanted to come back, to gain confidence by playing a few games. There’s nothing that can match the reps I’m getting right now. So yes, I would say that this return is quite beneficial. »

“I want us to keep fighting”

Martin St-Louis gave a slight sneer of annoyance when he was reminded that his team still hadn’t scored a goal in two games ahead of Price.

“Sure it would be fun to score goals for Carey. It’s not that we don’t try, the effort is there. We would like to have offensive support for him, ”replied the coach.

But St. Louis was proud of its players after Tuesday’s game, proud of their performance against a much better-run club that could stay up late this spring. Despite a clear gap between the two clubs’ talent pools, his men fought well after a poor start to the game.

“We have proven that when we are on our game, you can play with pretty much everyone. But the whole team has to be on the bus. If there are not enough people on the bus, it is tough. But by evening, we were all there. I would tell you that the first four or five minutes were difficult, but after that we recovered and we played a very good game. We just didn’t score. »

The Canadiens have now lost six in a row, but St. Louis doesn’t see a team giving up. “The guys continue to adhere to what we ask and the young people understand the value of this experience”, he observes.

There are five games left on the schedule, including meetings against the Bruins, Rangers and Panthers.

“I tell you that we continue to fight. It would be easy to pack up, but I haven’t seen that yet. If I look at our last nine periods, we were good from start to finish against the Islanders and we played a good half of the game against Washington. Nobody likes to lose, but I feel that we have a good mentality. We continue to fight and we are building for next year. »

Sad for Byron

Paul Byron only made six appearances against the Wild before leaving the game. We never saw him again. The team have advised that he is suffering from a lower body injury.

It’s been a tough season for Byron, who missed the first three months of the season recovering from hip surgery. He also suffered an upper body injury in late February. Tuesday’s game was only his 27and and maybe his last. St-Louis wouldn’t confirm after the game, saying he will be evaluated on Wednesday.

“It’s tough,” said the coach. He works hard every day to be able to continue playing, to stay with the team. It’s an injury that has been bothering him for some time, we see that he is trying to play despite that. He’s a good player, a tenacious player and it’s hard to see that he can’t come back 100%. »

“I feel sorry for him,” Price said. He is possibly the most competitive person I have ever met. There is a fire burning inside him, he brings a lot of energy to our locker room. He became a very close friend over time, he was always there for me. »

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