Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens stops a shot by Chris Tierney of the San Jose Sharks in the NHL game at the Bell Centre on Dec. 16. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
It was the second time in less than two weeks the normally stoic superstar goalie unleashed some tension.
As one of the best hockey players in the world, Carey Price’s every move is scrutinized to the nth degree. So, it should come as little surprise that Price’s latest display of emotion is the subject of intrigue.
The normally stoic Price glared down the Montreal Canadiens bench after being pulled in the second period of a 4-2 home-ice loss to the San Jose Sharks. Price had allowed four goals on 18 shots when he was yanked at 6:44 of the middle period following a goal by Sharks right winger Melker Karlsson. Al Montoya replaced the superstar goaltender with the Canadiens trailing 4-0.
Price wasn’t made available to the media after the game and neither was his backup. However, he’s scheduled to play Saturday night when the Habs visit the Washington Capitals, a start previously slotted for Montoya.
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told reporters he didn’t see Price’s stare as he left the ice. Price sat on the bench for the rest of the second period, but not for the third.
“It is difficult because all athletes are really proud and there was a few reasons that we believe that we needed to pull out Carey,” Therrien said in his post-game press conference. “First of all, there’s not one guy in the league who likes to get pulled out. But I didn’t like the way we played in front of him. We gave up a goal early in the second period. We wanted to send a message to our team and, in the meantime, we wanted to give ourselves a chance to bring him back tomorrow because he’s fresh.”
The Canadiens trailed 3-0 after the first while being outshot 15-4. Therrien was asked if he regretted the timing of ousting Price from the net. His only reply: “All athletes are really proud.”
Naturally, several hockey pundits loosely compared Price’s glare to Patrick Roy’s infamous explosion in December 1995. But more notable: this was Price’s second outward display of negative emotion in less than two weeks. He pummelled Kyle Palmieri after the New Jersey Devils right winger fell into him following a scoring chance in a Dec. 8 game.
“I’m just going to stick up for myself now. That’s the way it is,” Price said afterwards.
Price is now 16-4-2 with a 1.95 goals-against average and .935 save percentage following Friday’s game. It’s impossible to know what will happen next with Price. But, rest assured, the hockey world will be watching.