The morning after a heartbreaking loss in Anaheim, where the Habs lost 3-2 in a shootout following a fantastic showing in regulation and overtime, it was reported that Carey Price practiced in full gear, facing shots.
The Twitterverse exploded:
— Ian Turner (@sydcam_marcom) March 3, 2016
— Habs Chronicle (@HabsChronicle) March 3, 2016
— SportQc (@SportQc) March 3, 2016
(Translates to: Carey Price achieves another milestone)
Yes, that is the injured David Desharnais with Price; he was taking shots on Carey during their practice at the Habs’ training facility in Brossard.
Here’s the thing: we’ve experienced an almost-Price-less season in Montreal, and whether or not the decline of the team is an effect or a symptom, we’ve felt the loss. And no amount of his practicing, or returning, is going to magically turn things around.
As I was writing this, it was announced that Price would meet the press.
The press conference was interesting; Carey Price commands respect, he is that kind of person. He is humble, articulate, passionate, and a true leader. So while it wasn’t a thundering horde of yelled questions, it seemed the media didn’t want to let him go.
Some of the points made:
Now, Twitter is abuzz about that. How can he know? How is that date set in stone? And what if the Habs were in playoffs, how would that work out?
Here’s where my opinion comes in: first of all, the date may or may not be arbitrary. First-time parents sometimes take that given due date as The Date, but as we all know, babies have their own agenda. It may be a planned delivery, but it is not our business to speculate. It’s enough that the Prices have gone through this pregnancy – from its unceremonious announcement prior to Angela’s blogging about it herself to the progression of Carey’s injury and the speculation already – in the public eye.
But it is not our business to speculate, or to judge his comments.
I’ve read many opinions about this; those who have stated, “I’m sure a nanny is available for them,” to “he’s being paid millions to show up, how could he desert his team in playoffs when they’re counting on him?”
Folks, we don’t even know if the Habs will be playing at the end of April, much less the Prices’ decision in that eventuality if Carey were well enough to be in nets. How on earth is this ours to discuss?
But more than that, you get the opportunity to become a first-time dad once in a lifetime. And Carey Price, a guy whose marriage has been the Stuff Of Media since his engagement, clearly has his priorities straight. We should be admiring and respecting him and his wife for whatever decisions they make (all hypothetical, as he’s not even back yet), not spouting the “what if” scenarios or expressing premature resentment that he might actually not be in nets for playoffs because his baby is being born.
A child is a very private matter for a couple, and that’s magnified when it’s the first one. Let’s let them live some modicum of privacy for this, shall we?
I believe Carey Price provided excellent answers for the burning hockey questions we’ve all had. He handled himself – as he always has – with the quiet calm which is his hallmark, whether it’s in front of microphones or between the pipes.
In fact, his frustration was expressed, when he discussed how the team went from such a strong start to such a position of struggles, but there was no panic, no chaos, no overdone emotion. Remembering back to his preseason, “Relax, chill out,” message to fans booing him in the preseason of 2010, we should all take a page from his book.
I found it poignant to hear him talk about how it is much more frustrating as a fan than as a player. We can only imagine how much he wants to help the team.
But he did make an important point, one we’ve all tried to parlay in our many pieces even here on this site:
Things were not quite there in everything [for the team]; something was not quite connecting; we started out so strongly, and other teams were gunning for us. The competition is high, and the team couldn’t quite find a way to do it most nights.
In other words, perhaps there were goals that might have been saved, but without quite saying it outright, Price alluded to the lack of production on the other end too.
I began this article about the hoopla being generated on Twitter after hearing that Price faced shots; let me bring it full circle.
Even if he came back tonight, there is no guarantee the team would suddenly win every single one of the remaining 18 games.
As he said in his press conference: that’s the way it goes.
Of course, I am among those who will practically throw a party when he returns to the team, whether it is this season or next.
But until then, as hard as it is, we have to remain sideline fans, just as frustrated as our star goaltender.
I think he’s handling it better than most fans are. Let’s learn from him – he is, after all, our team’s leader.