I can hear them now. Everyone who said keeping Carey Price was a mistake. The smugness dripping with smugness. The “I told you so’s” surely ringing throughout the land.
We’ve been waiting all summer for this first (albeit preseason) game, not only because we missed hockey and the Habs, but also to see how Carey Price would play after the team dealt Jaroslav Halak to the Blues and made the young fellow big man on campus.
We wanted Price to be sensational, even in this first game. Maybe especially in this first game. We wanted him to dive and kick out and snap pucks out of the air and have the Bell Centre faithful standing and smiling and asking “Jaroslav Who?”
But then, pucks found their way past his glove side, a screened shot from the point, a couple of dekes he couldn’t react quickly enough to. The jeers started in the building, we begin to think it could be a long year, and it’s only the first preseason game.
What are we to make of this? Montreal outshot the Bruins 38-16, dominated often, the young guys, especially Louis Leblanc and Aaron Palushaj, played well. The puck rang off two posts late in the game that could have really changed things.
It was just one aspect of the game that fell short tonight.
I thought I’d heard that Benoit Brunet was being replaced in the RDS booth, but there he was.
Jaroslav Spacek gave up the puck on a Canadiens power play, allowing Patrice Bergeron to skate in alone and fool Price, thereby twisting the knife just a little deeper.
Maxim Lapierre converted a beautiful Tomas Plekanec pass, and then Plekanec did the same with a Mike Cammalleri feed.
Bruins kept Tuukka Rask in for the entire game, probably because they could feel the thing slipping away and didn’t want to risk things.