Carey Price In The News

Photo: Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Photo: Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Carey Price In The News

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:

(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:

  • The injury that took him out on November 25th was not a re-injury of his earlier problem.
  • He came back, and this was a new problem. When pressed on it, he stated that it was a new type of injury. So, because the team is so close-lipped about these matters (as is protocol, and one I support), we know it was likely his knee both times, but that this wasn’t related.
  • He said that even had he been 100% healthy, this would have happened.
  • As it is, he was not at 100%, so perhaps mentally he was blocked and the injury occurred. But he was very clear that they are not related.
  • He was given a timeline of approximately 6 weeks, but timelines aren’t always accurate, and though there has been steady progress, it took time as all injuries do.
  • The past couple of weeks have been a turning point with his skating, and donning full equipment. He said it was important to come back in a controlled scenario. Skating, then throwing on the gear, and feeling that initial awkwardness of the heavy equipment all over again.
  • The controlled environment was key to his confidence.  He wasn’t pushing himself, nor was he being pushed; it was about a confidence booster.
  • He repeatedly discussed being at 100% mental readiness. He says that is the key to playing properly. He hints that perhaps he was at 90% when he returned the first time, and that might have blocked him.
  • His goal this season has always been to return to play; he wasn’t being shut down (“It wasn’t a matter of protecting me.”), he was slowly rehabilitating to the point of coming back.
  • He may or may not return, but there is no timeline (media pressed for one anyway; he didn’t bite).
  • He would rather return sooner than later. He’s confident he will return but offered no timelines (that was smart; Habs nation tends to hold those dates as gospel).
  • He said the goal to return has always been the drive that’s pushed him mentally, to heal, to rehab, and to recondition.
  • When asked about the season’s unfolding the way it has, he said it was frustrating. “It’s harder to watch than to play.” And that whether it happens this season or next, he looks forward to being back on the ice.
  • It seemed the media personalities were looking for words of wisdom from him, some answers no one has hit on as of yet; he offered nothing beyond his own mindset. He stated that it’s frustrating, “things haven’t gone our way, that’s just the way it goes.”
  • Because of his position, it’s a difficult recovery; the stretches, the butterfly position, all the different ways in which his body is stressed, he needed more time to recover.
  • He reiterated that there were no setbacks, just steady recovery.
  • While it’s been tough to be out, he’s maintained the same mentality as when he plays: driving for a goal of winning, or driving for the goal of recovering completely.
  • When asked if he’s gone into the room to motivate the team, he said that isn’t his thing. He’s a leader by example, and that while he’s gone into the room periodically, his presence is better felt by the guys on the ice, not in the room.
  • He was asked if he felt the team’s decline was related to his injury. He handled this question beautifully:
    • I’d like to think I’m part of the equation, part of the success of the season
    • I think the guys have a lot of confidence with me on the ice, and that’s probably a key part of the puzzle
  • But he gave full credit to Mike Condon, whom, he says, was thrust into a very difficult position as a rookie goaltender, and who has been playing “extremely well.”
  • He said his rehab is related to staying within his limits; he knows his body and he knows when he’s 100%. (Knowing Carey Price’s drive, and his exemplary work ethic, it’s likely that Price’s 100% is our 120%)
  • He praised Michel Therrien; first, for not pressuring him, and for being as supportive as everyone in the organization. But he praised Therrien for the criticism the coach has experienced, and for handling it well.
  • When asked about being named to the roster of the World Cup Tournament, he stated that it will be a fun tournament. He is looking forward to it, and that it’s not a final roster, but whether it’s him, or any of the other goaltenders named to the teams (“studs”, he called Corey Crawford and Braden Holtby), he wants to win.
  • He mentioned that while he’s looking forward to it, it’s not a priority, as he and his wife are due to welcome their first child April 29th.

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.

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One Response to Carey Price In The News

  1. A very well written article on the updated status of our guy – Carey Price. It’s nice to know he’ll be experiencing fatherhood for the first time next month.

    I’m very torn by all of this of course. I never want to see Price injured and I’m so glad that he’s regaining his ability to play goal again. But not for this season. For him to come back now is a mistake for this organization. Bergevin has kept the status of this injury to himself and stayed very tight lipped to the press about it. He’s never come out and said the team is done for this year. Therrien wants him back, not for the reason everyone would think. As Price has done ever since Therrien came on board he’s been his safety net, his backup plan. Therrien needs him more than ever to come back NOW!!! If he is going to maintain control and continue to be the head coach of the Habs he needs Price starting every game till seasons end. Making the playoffs would be fantastic in Therriens eyes as he sees it. This would show everyone the type of coach he is…. A winner. He guided the Habs out of the Abyss they had fallen into and led them to the playoffs. At worst if they come up short and don’t get in well that wasn’t his fault. If only guys like: Subban, Gally27, Eller, Beaulieau and Condon had stepped up their game we wouldn’t have been in this mess. You know the Teflon that surrounds Therrien will ensure nothing bad about him or his “Pets” will stick. Yah he’s a real team guy….not!

    Therrien continues to hold this team back with his limited approach to the game. This team is in the “win” now mode. He’s already wasted two seasons and now this train wreck of a season. Exactly how many chances does this clown get? The key players on this team are in their prime and their chances of winning it all are being taken away from them by a total amateur who is more concerned about his own ego than the fate of his hockey team. That is a tragedy.

    Ned Stark March 4, 2016 at 3:07 am Reply

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