The goaltending thing in Montreal isn’t a controversy like the media is playing it up to be. Whether it’s perfectly okay to wipe Jarkko Ruutu’s smile off his face with a sharpened blade might be considered a controversy. Letting the Leafs play in the NHL could be considered a controversy. Awarding Dave Schultz the Lady Byng trophy when he roamed the ice for the Broad Street Bullies would have probably been contoversial.
But all Montreal is doing is going with the guy who has been in nets when the team is winning a few games. It’s not that difficult. My sister might have come up with the same strategy.
Carey Price will be back in nets soon. He’s not creating any controversy by threatening to go to Russia or demanding a trade. He’s just sitting on the bench for now. And it’s not because Jaroslav Halak has been standing on his head that he remains in goal. The team has rebounded because the forwards and defence are beginning to gel, are finding their place, have become more comfortable around teammates who were recently strangers, and are finally beginning to understand what coach Jacques Martin is asking them to do – that is, take care of the defensive aspects, get the shots-against down, and don’t leave the goalie hanging out to dry.
All of which they didn’t do in Vancouver.
If Price was in nets for the last four games, they might have won like they’ve won with Halak. They’re just playing better hockey as a team, and it’s been good for Halak. But he’s just been good, not great so far. He’s been there and done the job, but his timing is right too. He’s the guy in nets when the the boys in front of him decided to play a little.
There’s no controversy. If we heard Price ranting and raving, then there might be. But he’s a team player and he understands the situation.
We could see him very soon because it’s not hard to understand that he needs to get some games in. And when we do see him, hopefully we see a solid netminder. Wouldn’t it be something if both our goalies did a huge job and we were absolutely comfortable and content when either started a game?
Carey Price, if his fragile confidence doesn’t take many more hits, is the future of the team. At least this is what’s expected of him. Most understand that, including Halak. I’m sure everyone’s fine with this. Although it’s human nature to want to be the number one guy, which of course Halak would want. But you can’t always get what you want.
And thank goodness for Halak. He’s been steady, he’s been good, and from time to time he’s been lucky. He’s done all that has been asked so far. And Price will do the same.
As an aside: Now I’m reading about the possibility that the Habs are showcasing Halak to make a trade and I don’t buy it. Make the Price the go-to guy like before, when he’s still trying to find himself? If they are, I’d be surprised. Unless, of course, they plan on bringing in another solid goalie as part of the big, overall deal.
It’s all too much. My brain is hurting.