Markov And Price Babblings

Andrei Markov has been announced as Montreal’s nomination for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given each year to a player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication.

This means that the cabinet space the Vezina was going to take up could now be used for the Masterton! You see how things work out!

Hopefully Markov, who came back this year from a couple of knee injuries that forced him to miss all but twenty games over the past two seasons, can capture this important award. And even though he’s older and slower now, and sometimes gets caught out of position, he’s still one of our key blueliners, played every game this year, and I believe was the best thing that ever happened to Alex Emelin (except for Emelin getting married and having a baby, I suppose).

Pittsburgh has nominated Matt Cooke, which kind of tarnishes the whole thing. I wonder if Ottawa writers will be scrambling to vote for him.

It’s another off-day for the Canadiens, another day to rest and regroup and try to figure out why they’ve been so incredibly mediocre lately, and there’s lots to think about. Like how they got themselves in this mess in the first place. A mess where fans are mad at them after a three month love-in. We had the parade route planned. Now players discuss which alley to escape down.

We worry if they’ll ever play an excellent game again. Can anything be more depressing?

I know what the problem is, and if you consider me a Price-basher, you’re as wrong as can be. I’m a Price-believer. All along I’ve considered him and Pernell Karl as our true superstars. He’s the guy my wife wants to have her picture taken with. She loves him. He looks a lot like her son.

But when a team goes out every night with a solid game plan, is playing as well or better than the other team, and suddenly finds themselves down 2-0 or 3-0 midway through the first period after a couple of weak goals, the solid game plan flies out the window. It becomes a worry whenever the puck is in their end, because they realize their backstopper isn’t sharp once again.

And because there’s no sharpshooter like Steven Stamkos to rely on to begin a dramatic comeback, the game is basically over before twenty minutes has been played.

I was shocked when I read the other day that Price’s average (2.59) has dropped to 29th in the league, and his .905 save percentage sits at 33rd. What the heck is that? I’m feeling bad about this, and my wife has gone silent.

We can look at our lack of production from forwards, and our defence that needs work, but until Price comes up big at crucial times, like the first or second shot of the game for example, we’re gonna be screwed. He’s not getting help from guys in front, but we ask that at least he keeps us in the game until a way can be found at the other end.

It’s what good goalies do. It’s what Price used to do.








10 thoughts on “Markov And Price Babblings”

  1. Great piece, DK. Especially like the alley image. And the silent wife.

    Even if the Habs have declined, your game has upped another notch. You’re like Dunigan. Always improving.


  2. I’m worried about Price as well. He is capable of some great stuff but I find sometimes he’s more troublesome than a confidence-building guy. It’s not all down to him of course, there has been some sloppy play by our team and that hasn’t helped much.

    A lot of people seem to say he doesn’t care, and I don’t think that’s really true but I do wish he’d get angry. Like really angry. I think it would do him some good. I hate how he sometimes lets in a bad one and you can see exactly how he feels by looking at his body language.

    He usually slumps down in a particular way and from that point on it’s a safe bet that he usually will have somewhat of a stinker of a game. I wish he’d get pissed and say “f u” to everyone and go out there and kick ass the rest of the game. It’s kind of like he lets in a bad one and everything goes out the window and it’s “next time I’ll play better”.

    But the team itself hasn’t been the same at all since that Buffalo game. I’d love to know what the hell happened here. They are either throwing games on purpose or they’ve given up on Therrien and his system.

    The way they’ve been playing lately doesn’t match the rest of the season at all. Yeah you can’t win them all but they have been playing some putrid hockey. They better get their act together or it’s going to be one mighty short playoff season.

    I bet the Leafs will eliminate us.

  3. DK, I’ve read a few articles & listened to some reports stating the other teams have now had plenty of time to study our game plan. Is MT unable to change the plan or is he a one trick pony?? Could be why it took so long for him to crack the big leagues again! I hope I’m wrong but from what I’ve been watching he seems to be at a loss on what to do.
    Not so happy from the East!!!!

  4. Hi Mike. I’d like to believe that they lost something when they clinched a playoff spot. Maybe they’re a tad too small and are worn down. Several guys have stopped performing. Price isn’t great. And who knows who’s doing the stick boy job. It’s all a bit of a mess right now.

  5. Darth, correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Price going down on his knees much more than he used too? But that’s not even the problem. Maybe this few days rest will really help everybody.

  6. DK, like I said in a previous post you can’t turn the the switch on & off, it should be full speed ahead & kick the playoff door in. To quote a phrase from the early years les Canadiens sont la!!! The other teams need to know we’re here & ready to kick some serious ASS!!!!

  7. Mike, you’re right. They can’t back into the playoffs, they have to break the door down. It’s so hard to know what to expect from these guys right now, but they can make us feel better by playing a fine game in New Jersey on Tuesday night. If they don’t, and if Price is lousy, your patience and mine is coming to an end. We need full speed ahead. Good comment, Mike.

  8. I agree with you 100% Dennis. I think that it’s become almost taboo to say anything negative about Price and I don’t know why. But lately he’s been the problem. When you allow as many goals as shots, isn’t that enough to see the problem? Price can be good but needs some fine tuning. He needs to get angry like Darth says and play more desperately and stop the non-chalance.

  9. There is no correlation between late-season W-L records and winning in the playoffs. There are many supports and sources for this. An accessible one is Bob McCown’s Hockey’s 100 Greatest Arguments. He provides solid examples for this.

    To my mind, there is always some relation between regular season and playoff outcomes but those are usually found in the technical aspects; matchups, combos, defensive and offensive tactics and techniques used.


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