Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Hot Hand

The Habs lost to the Thrashers tonight, 5-4. Its difficult to say the goalies played well in this kind of game, but in reality, both did a pretty good job! Pavelec certainly continued to make timely and at times spectacular saves. Price, for his part, played a solid game, but was consistently punished by Thrashers left floating in the slot or open at the side of the net.

The team defence stunk as a whole - they would chase the puck instead of anticipating the pass, and they were unable to strip the puck from the tenacious Thrashers forwards.

Anyhow, the question at hand is, should Price get the next start?

Points for starting Halak:
  • He wins.
  • He's a hard working goalie that the team seems to rally around a bit.
Points for starting Price:
  • He's actually playing really well.
  • He needs to play in order to get better.

The team seems to rally around Halak a little bit. They play like they are not relying on the goalie to do everything. Halak is a very good goalie who works hard in his net; this, combined with his size, makes him very active in his net. When a goal goes in against Halak, it rarely looks like he wasn't trying (maybe he was out of position or something, but he always looks like he's trying).

Price, on the other hand, relies on size and positioning. When Price is scrambling, its a disaster. When he is in his zone, he makes it all look too easy. When goals go in, it looks like all Price's fault! Even if he has no chance, fans are left looking at Price wondering: what did you do wrong? Which of course is unfair. The team seems to treat him a bit like an Uber-star: I don't have to play defence, Pricey's got it. But really, did Florida treat Luongo that way? The Devils treat Brodeur that way? I'm pretty sure you have to help your talented goalie look good. You have to save eachother's skin sometimes.

I want to see Price start the next game. He has been sitting too long, and has lost a bit of his confidence, and his mental edge. He needs to get in a zone of winning. Or even just stopping pucks in a game situation. That's not to say Halak should be relegated to the bench so The Oh So Talented One can get his act together -- Halak has played well and deserves starts. But Martin's "you win you're in" system didn't work in Ottawa, and it won't work here. Its bullsh!t. You can't punish a goalie for a team's bad game. Price needs to start the next game, and then it should be 1-to-1 tandem for the next month or so. Let the goalies feed off eachother: let the team play the same for each goalie. Level the ice, and see which goalie earns the starts moving forward - this system allowed Theodore to thrive, Huet to make a name for himself, and Carey Price to first discover his game.

Let Price play. Make both goalies better.

1 comment:

  1. He needs to play. It's rediculous, frankly. Plus he's our best offensive defenceman... Also I swear the shots on net he made from 190-feet away looked more convincing than anything that was firing on the powerplay.

    Jaro got the really easy two games and was called the hot hand. Luck pretty much solved the other ones, minus Pittsburgh. (And Lundqvist seems to still have a problem with the Habs). Frankly I didn't see the same Habs team that put a tight leash on the Thrashers or the Islanders two weeks ago play tonight. I saw a bunch of wallflowers. Was the Halloween party that good?