PHILADELPHIA – Montreal Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau still had people guessing after the morning skate Wednesday.
Will it be Carey Price or Jaroslav Halak in goal for Game 4 against the Philadelphia Flyers? “I made my decision and I feel strongly about it. You guys will see it tonight,” Carbonneau said Wednesday morning at Wachovia Center.
The prevailing thought among observers is that Price would once again be in net despite his recent struggles.
The 20-year-old prized rookie has lost four of his last six starts and given up seven goals on 35 shots in the last two games. He was pulled Monday night in Game 1 after giving up three goals on 12 shots through 40 minutes. The Flyers carried a 2-1 series lead into Wednesday night’s game.
Carbonneau informed both Price and Halak of his decision but didn’t share it with the rest of the team and certainly not the media. Why the secrecy?
“Because if I would have announced it yesterday there would have been about 600 articles in the paper today saying I was right or I was wrong,” said Carbonneau. “Or the kid is the wrong guy. I should have done this, done that. I haven’t seen that this morning so I did my job.”
It appears GM Bob Gainey was in on the decision.
“I spoke to certain people in the organization but at the end of the day it’s still my decision,” said Carbonneau. “It will be me who will be blamed one way or the other. I have to be conscious of the consequences. You have to look at all the factors when you make a decision like this. My decision is a solid one. And the reason why I made the decision is a solid one, too. I won’t have any regrets.”
Meanwhile, veteran defenceman Patrice Brisebois is set to return after missing two games with a leg injury.
“I feel pretty good and I’m ready to go,” Brisebois said after taking part in the optional skate.
Rookie forward Sergei Kostitsyn missed practice Tuesday because of soreness but he will probably be back for Game 4.
“It would (be) Michael Ryder that goes in (if Kostitsyn can’t play) but I’m under the impression Sergei would be OK for tonight,” said Carbonneau.