Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Goalie Competition and More

With the recent ascension of Jaroslav Halak into the starting role, you have to wonder how this will sit with Carey Price going forward. While he'll obviously downplay the situation in the media, and everyone always says that having two quality players in net pushing each other is a positive (it's worked well for Boston so far this year), you have to assume that being pushed to the side (even if only temporarily) after being handed the reigns to the team at the trade deadline last year is something of a wake up call for a young player. Whether this is another motivational factor like we saw with the Kovalev banishment or just a case of going with the hot hand at a critical time of the year is unclear, but it could certainly lead to some interesting discussions within the team if Halak keeps up his solid play from the last couple of games.

Part of me also has to wonder if Price has ever fully recovered from his injury earlier in the year, since he clearly rushed himself back in time to start the All Star game. His play since that return has been sub-standard to say the least, so it begs the question of whether there's still something lingering there that we'll only find out about at some later date.

On the topic of injuries, it's a bit disappointing to hear that Tanguay has suffered another minor setback and will be delayed in his return for a few more days, although that is tempered by the news that Robert Lang sounds like he will make a full recovery from his Achilles injury that some thought could end his career. Although it's unlikely that he'll suit up for the Canadiens again this year (or maybe ever given his pending UFA status), the fact that they're talking about a return to the NHL is still a very positive fact.

In non-Canadiens news, it will interesting to see how the hiring of John Tortorella in New York impacts the potential for a Sean Avery comeback. Tortorella didn't have a lot of great things to say about Avery during his brief stint as an NHL on TSN commentator, but whether those opinions carry over into the dressing room of your own struggling team remains to be seen.

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