Well, you knew it was going to happen eventually. Carey Price made a mistake.
I’m not sure what Price was thinking when he dropped the puck in the slot, presenting Glen Metropolit with a gimme goal. At that point, the Habs weren’t out of the game.
But for the first time in his young NHL playoff career, Price was faced with adversity in a potential series-clinching game. So with all the chatter about how calm, cool and collected the young tender is, I think everyone was eager to see how he responded.
Habs fans should have turned away.
After that mix up, Price wasn’t the same, steady goalie and the Canadiens didn’t seem to create the same amount of scoring chances. Two minutes later, the Habs found themselves in a 3-1 deficit and a bad angle goal by Marco Sturm turned a blip on Price’s radar screen into ringing alarm bells.
So now the series goes back to Boston and even though he’s the highly touted savior, Price and his followers are, for the first time, being faced with the youngster’s mortal being.
How he bounces back from this debacle is the new storyline that will have huge implications. Even if they do advance, how will he handle the bigger, more intense, late-round games?
It was an entertaining game to watch and seemed like it could go either way until the third period. Still, one theme irked me. The sideshow circus act of “The Flying Kostitsyns” belongs on the trapeze, not the NHL playoffs. Stand up boys.
What happened to that other guy?
Cristobal Huet really deserved a win in Philadelphia Thursday, but unfortunately the goalie can’t do everything.
The 32-year-old French backstopper – and forgotten former Canadien – was stellar against a relentless Philadelphia attack. Huet made some huge saves while shorthanded in the dying minutes and was the only reason the game went into the extra frame.
Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were the driving forces behind Philadelphia’s Game 4 win. Both were all over the ice on every shift; Carter finished with three points, including an assist on the game-winner, and Richards created a beautiful set up on Daniel Briere’s game-tying goal.
Not to take anything away from Martin Biron, who is also trying to answer questions about his lack of playoff experience. Biron made a few big saves in the extra frames to keep the Flyers alive, as well.
Philadelphia was bigger in the corners, better in front of the nets and shut offensive horse Alex Ovechkin down to one shot. Although Ovie didn’t do himself any favors by missing the net whenever he did get one off.
If Huet continues to see the puck this well the Caps aren’t finished and Biron hasn’t matched his counterpart consistently enough to hand the Flyers the series, yet.
But Washington is going to have to start winning the little battles if they want to win the big series.
Turco the performer
A year ago Marty Turco had three shutouts and still lost an opening-round series to Vancouver. This year he is playing much the same, although the Stars are winning.
A goalie haunted by playoff nightmares and criticisms, Turco seems to have found his groove and is proving naysayers wrong by coming up big in the post-season against the defending champs.
Dallas is clicking in this series in every aspect and has to be reconsidered as the contenders they once were, before a late-season blowup. The only concern for the Stars was on offense, but that issue has yet to show its ugly face.
And, really, this game should have been 4-1. The phantom goalie interference call is one I’m glad got out of the way now and hope doesn’t come back at a more important juncture in the playoffs.
THN.com’s Playoff Blogs, featuring analysis and opinion on the action from the night before, with insight on what happened and what it all means going forward, will appear daily throughout the NHL playoffs. Read more entries HERE.
Rory Boylen is THN.com’s web content specialist. His blog appears Thursdays.
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