Carey Price to miss the rest of Rangers series
Published Monday, May 19, 2014 11:20AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 19, 2014 6:35PM EDT
Montreal Canadiens’ coach Michel Therrien has announced that Habs goalie Carey Price will be sidelined for the rest of the third round series against the New York Rangers after being run into by Rangers’ forward Chris Kreider in Game One.
“We knew a bit what was happening yesterday. We have to rally for Carey, give him the opportunity to play again this season, that’s how I see it,” said a downcast Therrien at a press conference Monday at 11:00 a.m.
“We need his teammates to give 100 percent for their team and we’ll have a big challenge for us tonight,” he said. "We lost our best player, a player who’s very important to our team."
Kreider, who only recently returned from injury himself, rammed Price with his skates after losing balance while on a breakaway.
Therrien and several Habs players interviewed at practice Sunday expressed ambivalence concerning the incident, as Therrien initially said that Kreider's play was an innocent accident but he later pointed out that the Rangers' forward could have done more to avoid contact with Price.
"It' not the first time that he skated into a goalie intentionally," Therrien said.
The team would not offer details concerning the nature of Price's injury but it appears to be an injury to his right knee.
Budaj's struggles in playoffs
It remains unknown whether Price's backup Peter Budaj or third-stringer Dustin Tokarski will tend the nets in Price's place tonight at the Bell Centre.
Hamilton Bulldogs' goalie Dustin Tokarski sparkled in parts of three games this season for the Canadiens with a .946 save percentage, including a road win over the NHL's then-best team, the Anaheim Ducks.
Tokarski, 24, has netminded teams to championships at the Memorial Cup and World Juniors, as well as at the AHL level where he backstopped the AHL Norfolk Admirals to win the Calder Cup in 2012.
Budaj was the game's first star on October 28 when he turned back 27 shots in a 2-0 win over the Rangers, his only shutout of the season which saw him put up numbers of 10-8-3 with a goals agains average of 2.51 and a .909 save percentage.
He is 3-1-0 with a 2.17 goals against average and a .921 save percentage against the Rangers in his nine year NHL career.
Budaj's playoff numbers are less-impressive, however, as he has an .843 save percentage and 5.10 goals against average in parts of seven NHL playoff games.
Therrien said that he would not discuss any player decisions at the Monday morning press conference and so it remains a mystery whether sophomore Alex Galchenyuk, 20, would suit up after being cleared for contact in practice following a lower-body injury that sidelined him for over a month. Galchenyuk, a third-overall draft choice in the 2012 NHL entry draft, had 31 points in 65 games this season.
Kreider has a history of colliding heavily with opposition goaltenders, as he injured Ottawa Senators’ goaltender Craig Anderson on February 22, 2013 and more recently ran heavily into Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on May 11, 2014.
He explained to a scrum of reporters that the the incident occurred after he, “lost his footing.” His coach Alain Vigneault called it a “hockey play.”
Kreider, a 6'3" 230 lb speedster netted 37 points in 66 games this season.
Former Oiler netminder Devan Dubnyk had been practicing with the Canadiens after playing for Hamilton but he has left the team for personal reasons. Dubnyk had a difficult season, registering sub-.900 GAA numbers in his games for Edmonton, Nashville and Hamilton.
His spot has been taken by Mike Condon, 24, who played most of the season in the East Coast Hockey League.
Rosemere's Zachary Fucale, 18, the Canadiens’ second round draft choice in 2013, is lower down on the Habs' goaltending depth chart and is coming off a disappointing playoff run with the Halifax Mooseheads in which he put up a .882 save percentage.