Carey Price is one of those goaltenders.
Despite his ups and downs this season, of which there seems to be a few more downs than there has been ups, Carey Price came out tonight to play some solid goaltending against the Nashville Predators. Hopefully he showed all those critics of his that this kid is the real deal, that he can play net with the best of them. And he backed it up with the statistics to prove it. Here a quick Canadiens history lesson:
- March 10, 1974 - Wayne Thomas set the regular season single game save record with 53 saves against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Canadiens won that game 5-4.
- March 15, 1970 - Rogatien "Rogie" Vachon set the regular season single period save record with 23 saves in the third period of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Rogie faced a record 24 shots that period as well. The Canadiens and the Maple Leafs skated to a 3-3 tie that game.
- March 19, 1974 - Ken Dryden tied the mark that Vachon set just over 4 years previous also saving 23 of the 24 shots he faced. Dryden's effort in the first period proved too much for the Calgary Flames who couldn't catch up with Montreal, losing 4-1.
- March 10, 1993 - Andre Racicot kept the New York Islanders off the board in the second period, saving 23 shots. The Canadiens went on to win that game 5-1.
- October 26, 2002 - Jeff Hackett adds his name to the list of goalies to stop 23 shots in one period. In the first period of a 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators, Hackett was able to keep the Sens scoreless.
The Canadiens were unable to put a single puck past their opposing goaltender tonight, only mustering 20 shots in total on Pekka Rinne. And according to the radio play-by-play, you would be hard pressed to call any one of those shots a solid scoring chance.
So this brings to mind a very obvious question - how does a goaltender who makes 20 easy saves deserve a 2nd star rating while a goaltender who makes 53 saves (23 in one period - more than his opponent over the entire night) deserve a 3rd star rating?
Answer - there were in Nashville, remember.
Carey Price could have made 100 saves, but as long as Rinne gets that shutout at home, he will get a higher star than Price. Had roles been reversed: Rinne saves 53, Price saves 20 and Cammalleri had scored 2; I'm sure that Rinne would have been given 1st star for that performance. What is the point of the 3 star system if it is not to keep the home crowd happy? And how can anyone who understands the game not think that Price was a much bigger star in this game than was Rinne. There are even some, I'm sure, who would argue that Price deserved first star over Steve Sullivan.
My picks for 3 star in tonights game:
- Steve Sullivan - scored 2 goals against the 'god' (at least for tonight) Carey Price, not to mention took 11 shots
- Carey Price - 23 saves in the first period, 41 saves through 40 minutes, 53 saves overall
- Pekka Rinne - I'd even consider Jason Arnott here, playing almost 22 minutes, getting in Price's face, playing hard