2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Can Price Finally Surpass Halak?
Last year, the Habs benefited from an almost surreal performance from Jaroslav Halak.
With Halak leading the way, this team managed to upset the Presidents Trophy winner and the defending Stanley Cup Champions. The question on everyone’s mind this year is whether Carey Price can do what Halak just one year ago.
If you were to look at Price’s previous playoff experience, you wouldn’t be overly optimistic.
Aside from his game seven victory against the Bruins in 2008, the number aren’t great. In fact, they’re pretty bad.
Price hasn’t won a playoff game since 2008. He was absolutely torched last year in relief of Jaroslav Halak. The year before, he was lit up by the Boston Bruins he’s is about to face tomorrow night.
In 19 games, Price has only five wins. In the past two years, his save percentage is under .900 and he has a goals against average of 3.8.
The number will tell the doubtful Habs fan that the Habs are in deep water against the Bruins this time around.
Good thing numbers don’t win games.
Habs fans have seen a different Price this season. He no longer seems disinterested. He doesn’t give up many bad goals. When he does, he no longer implodes.
Gone is the Price that seemed unbothered by a Game 1 loss to the Bruins two years ago, where he was seen joking around with Georges Laraque and Cabbie from The Score.
Price has matured into one of the team’s leaders. He is poised and confident.
He has been the single most important reason for the team’s success this season and has been the team’s MVP from start to finish. Price has excelled at every level he’s played in, and it was only a matter of time before he would do the same at the NHL level.
Price has put up Vezina type numbers this year and has shown no signs of being unable to handle a pressure packed situation.
With the image if Jaroslav Halak leading his team to the conference finals fresh on the minds of Habs fans at the beginning of the year, Price was stellar.
With the team being decimated by injuries throughout the season, Price’s play remained constant.
With the Habs in a dogfight to make the playoffs towards the end of the year, Price didn’t miss a step.
If Price is able to maintain his current level of play throughout the playoffs, the Habs have another shot at making a lot of hockey “experts” look like fools.