Price Could Define Habs’ 2010-11 Season

You can understand why Jaroslav Halak decided to leave Montreal last summer.

Despite the Slovakian’s heroic performances in last years playoffs, the Canadiens organization was always going to stick with Carey Price.

Last night, Price recorded his 30th win and seventh shutou of the season against the Florida Panthers. However Price will be under a lot more pressure tomorrow night, as the co Habs face Guy Boucher’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

Following a tough loss in Boston last night the Bolts have lost two straight and will be looking t bounce back against the Habs. Their lead in the Southeast division now down to one point after the Washington Capitals defeated the St. Louis Blues Thursday.

The Lightning have a deadly arsenal of firepower through Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis as Price will be in for an eventful Saturday night.

The Habs goalie is extremely calm and collected for someone in his position. With all the pressure and expectations on his young shoulders, Price praised his defence for the shutout.

“That’s just a credit to our team play,” said Price. “We played excellent defensive hockey and when we’re on we’re tough to score against, tough to create opportunities against and that’s just good team defence.”

Montreal has been pretty successful against Southeast division foes this year. But a win over the Bolts would show they can compete with the best in the league.

Price has more minutes than any goaltender in the NHL this season, and being the centre of attention seems to be doing him a lot of good. If Price plays well, the Habs often win. However, Price will be judged on his performances in the playoffs, should Montreal get there. The 23-year-old has not won a playoff game since 2008, and the Canadiens will be expecting big things following last year’s success.

If Price can remain confident for the remainder of the regular season, edging the Bruins to the top of the Northeast Division is not out of the question. Momentum is often important in hockey, and with only 17 games left, Price will need to keep it up with so many faces missing from the Montreal defence.

Six out of Montreal’s next seven games are very tough. If they can build some momentum against teams like Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, the Canadiens could swagger into the post-season with their heads held high.

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