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Vintage Carey Price reigns in Calgary

The franchise netminder put on a show to steal a win on Thursday night.

Montreal Canadiens v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

There’s been a lot made of the play of Carey Price this year. He’s been uneven in his starts and has sat the last two games in favour of Antti Niemi. Price himself noted that he had to work things out “upstairs” and coming into the game against Calgary many were unsure of which Price would be in net.

Then he had his best performance of the year.

Facing 45 shots against, and plenty of them of the high-danger variety Price stopped 43 en route to a comeback win against the Flames. In the second period when he faced a near continuous onslaught of pucks, Price kept the Canadiens in the game and within striking distance of tying the game. Even in the third period, Montreal was holding back a heavy Calgary attack, with Price taking the best the Flames had to offer. Then the offence got those timely bounces that eluded the team in previous losses. It wasn’t pretty by any means, but wins are wins.

They got some help from Mike Smith at the other end of the ice, but without Price in net the Canadiens would be laughed out of the building by the middle of the second period. Price was calm, cool, and collected between the pipes, had no wasted movements and almost flawless rebound control. He was the terminator in the twine. Even as Calgary piled up shots, you could tell that Price wasn’t letting anything else past him.

It’s one of those games that Montreal fans are all too familiar with. For years, Price stood on his head like this and stole games, and tonight he did that once again. It’s not the long term solution, but in situations like this it’s a massive confidence builder for the most important player in the Canadiens lineup.

After a rough stretch, this type of game could and hopefully will serve as a building block for a better season for Carey Price. Many of the technical aspects looked to be honed perfectly, outside of getting his skate caught on the post. If this Price can be in net the rest of the year, and the Canadiens offence continues to capitalize then Montreal is a dangerous player in a wide open Eastern Conference.