Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/1/14
Just as he had a year earlier, Carey Price met with the media Saturday to discuss how the Stanley Cup Playoffs came to an end for his Montreal Canadiens with him on the sidelines. The situation was similar, but the circumstances were wildly different. Price missed the Canadiens' fifth and final game of their first-round loss to the Ottawa Senators a year ago with a knee injury he sustained at the end of regulation time in Game 4. That was a disappointing end to a disappointing lockout-shortened season for Price, who started strong but finished poorly, leaving some doubt as to his ability to plant himself among the elite goaltenders in the NHL. When he spoke to reporters afterwards he lamented the way he and his team ended the season, speaking with remorse and regret. Fast forward a year and Price was again addressing reporters two days after the Canadiens were eliminated from the playoffs, this time in six games by the New York Rangers. Again, Price was knocked out of the series by a knee injury. This, time, however, there was no remorse and no regret -- only optimism. The biggest difference was that this time the Canadiens were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Final, falling two wins short of the Stanley Cup Final, and Price was talking about a brilliant season that saw him win Olympic gold with Canada in Sochi and finish as one of the top goaltenders in the NHL. But more than either of those things, Price spoke as a confident man, one who knew he had cleared a number of hurdles in his career and was eager to build on that success next season. "This team played so well in front of me all season," Price said. "I was really fortunate to be selected and be able to represent my country [at the Olympics] and I had an awesome time. It was a great opportunity to do that. And the guys in this locker room during this playoff run, it was really fun to play with these guys. This is the tightest group we've ever had. It's sad to have it come to an end right now, but we have to look forward to next year." Price was injured in Game 1 of the series against the Rangers in a collision with New York forward Chris Kreider early in the second period. Price remained in the game and finished the period, but did not come out to start the third with Montreal trailing the game 4-1 after the Rangers scored twice late in the second.
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