Cool, Calm, Carey Price

Carey Price has thrived in the Montreal spotlight.

Carey Price has thrived in the Montreal spotlight.

Great article on Carey Price by Sean Gordon of The Globe and Mail.  I’ve pasted the entire article below and added some photos of Price or you can get it directly from The Globe here.  What’s most interesting about Price is how cool and calm he is about his success (hence the title of the article!).  He clearly is an example of someone for whom losing is just part of his mindset but when it happens he accepts it as part of his profession and looks for a way to avoid having it happen again.  It’s a long article but is a reminder of the type of coverage that sets newspaper reporting apart from blogging.

Will Price and Sydney Crosby end up Olympic teammates?

Will Price and Sydney Crosby end up Olympic teammates?

MONTREAL — It’s said Ron Hextall used to lock himself in a room before big games to shriek at the top of his lungs.

Jeff Hackett would darkly warn teammates of the bloody consequences of fiddling with his goaltending gear.

To say nothing of the deeply bizarre Gilles Gratton, who claimed to be the reincarnation of a Spanish conquistador and once pulled himself from a game because the stars were improperly aligned.

Let’s face it: Those who don the tools of ignorance and willingly stand in the way of large men with sticks and airborne bits of vulcanized rubber are necessarily a little odd.

But in the case of Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, he of the Zen-like placidity and heavy-lidded languor, the weirdest thing is he’s not very weird at all.

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Cujo Gets his Chance

If 2008 has been the Year of the Backup then Curtis Joseph is probably looking forward to 2009!  It’s been a rough go this season for Cujo, his second stint as a Leaf, as he has put up some very un-Cujo like statistics (4.12 GAA, .843 SV% and .000 winning % vs. career numbers of 2.79 GAA, .906 SV% and .559 winning %)

Cujo is getting a chance to show he's not done yet.

Cujo is getting a chance to show he's not done yet.

Leaf coach Ron Wilson is giving Joseph back-to-back starts in an opportunity for Cujo to gain some confidence by getting some real playing time.  These games will be his first consecutive starts since backstopping Canada to the Spengler Cup last December.

Cujo makes a save in the first of consecutive starts.

Cujo makes a save in the first of consecutive starts.

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Canucks Feed Schneider to the Sharks

I was at the Sharks – Canucks game last night and two things really stood out to me:

1)  Cory Schneider’s teammates owe him a HUGE Christmas present tomorrow.  Like maybe a new car.  If your only insight into this game came from checking the box score today you’d see that Schneider gave up 5 goals on 15 shots in less than 21 minutes of play and you’d think to yourself “wow, Canucks will be glad when Luongo returns”.

Yes, the Canucks were tired after grinding out a win over the Ducks the night before and immediately afterwards flying down to San Jose.  Yes, they spent most of the first period short-handed.  But they should have saved the cost of a charter flight and just sent Schneider to deliver the two points on a platter to the Sharks.  The Canucks defense looked like Top Gun pilots on their first day at Miramar, twisting their necks to see which Shark player just flew by him.  And the the replays of the third goal (btw, beautiful scoreboard in HP Pavillion) sure looked like the point shot was deflected in by Schneider’s own D-man.

The visiting backup goalie in San Jose is separated from his team's bench

The visiting backup goalie in San Jose sits alone and feels shame.

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Save of the Year?

Or is it this:

I think you have to give it to Tim Thomas since A) his came in the regular season and B) it undoubtedly preserved a shutout for him.  You could even add bonus points for doing it on the road and causing so much grief to the Devils fans who were out of their seats celebrating what they thought was the go-ahead goal.

Justin Pogge to Make Leaf Debut Tonight

It’s not like the Toronto hockey press corps needed anything more to write about this season (new coach, new GM, Sundin-gate, another season of missing the playoffs) but now they finally get to cover Justin Pogge’s debut in the Leaft net tonight in Atlanta.

Pogge inherits 29 from Mike Palmateer and Felix Potvin

Pogge inherits 29 from Mike Palmateer and Felix Potvin

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2008 Has Been Year of the “Backup”

Marc-Andre Fleury returned to the Pittsburgh net tonight for the first time since injuring his groin a month ago, just one of many highly-paid #1 goalies who have missed significant playing time this season therefore thrusting his respective backup into a starting (and sometimes “starring”) role.  What’s significant about that?  Well for starters, never before has there been such a huge disparity between the salaries of A-level goalies vs. everyone else.   Until this past week Danny Saborin has kept the Penguins in each of their games compiling a 6-6-1 record with a .911 SV%.  Are those the numbers of a number one?  Not really, but the Pens have remained within striking distance of the Rangers and Flyers which is exactly what teams should expect from backups, i.e. give them a chance to win when the number one is out.  For 1/10th the cost ($512k vs. $5M for Fleury) Saborin did his job.  Here’s a look at some of the other backups finding themselves with a chance to play in the limelight this seaon.

Tim Thomas shooting for the number one position.

Tim Thomas shooting for the number one position.

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Mixed Emotions About Avery’s Suspension

I despise Sean Avery.  I think all goalies, including the ones on his team, hate Sean Avery.  He’s a pompous ass who deserves to have his head forcibly inserted into said ass by an opponent.  But the NHL has no place in handing down any suspension, let alone six games.  It was a stupid public comment and should be addressed by his employer but the real retribution should come on the ice.

I don’t know for sure but I have to assume from his interview afterward that even Stars goalie Marty Turco has no use for Avery and would like to see him dealt with in a more appropriate manner.  Of course Turco remembers what Avery did to Marty Brodeur last season and to Rangers’ goalies Henrik Lundqvist and Steve Valliquette this season.  Do you really think Turco is going to side with Avery over fellow Olympians Brodeur and Lundqvist?

Avery getting in the face of Brodeur in '07-'08 playoffs

Avery getting in the face of Brodeur in '07-'08 playoffs

Avery pestering Lundqvist earlier this season

Avery pestering Lundqvist earlier this season

Avery yapping at Valiquette during warmups

Avery yapping at Valiquette during warmups

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