Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/16/13
Carey Price ambled out of the Laval-sur-le-Lac clubhouse a month and a half ago shuffling up onto a riser and into a spotlight in which he lives his professional life. “Everybody is really excited to get this year going. I don’t think anybody feels added pressure at all” Price said before the start of his team’s annual charity golf tournament. The excited part was a given. About the pressure? Call that a gentle fib. Price was heading into the new season coming off a lacklustre end to 2012-13 one which at least in part cost goalie coach Pierre Groulx his job and a knee injury that slammed an early door on his playoffs. In this city hockey’s off-season meal is an enormous portion of second-guessing with a healthy side of angst washed down with a mug of doom. On that Laval morning Price spoke with muted confidence and calm enthusiasm about the challenge ahead. Now six games into the Canadiens season fans are sharing a little of the optimism he expressed that day. The 4-2 Habs enjoyed a day off Wednesday their charter touching down in St-Hubert from Winnipeg at 2:40 a.m. Behind them was a successful four-game swing through Calgary Edmonton Vancouver and Winnipeg that had stumbled briefly out of the gate then found its legs for three straight wins. Price was on the losing end of a 3-2 decision in Calgary stopping 22 of the 25 Flames shots that came his way. Backup Peter Budaj was outstanding the next night in Edmonton making 27 saves in Montreal’s 4-1 win over the Oilers. And then Price offered a virtuoso performance in Vancouver stopping 39 Canucks shots in a 4-1 win. He followed that Tuesday with an airtight 36-save effort in the Canadiens’ 3-0 victory over the Jets earning his 20th career shutout. The 26-year-old tended goal at a .987 save-percentage clip the past two games and on Wednesday morning was ranked 10th-best in the NHL in that category at .944.
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