Budaj Starts vs. Blackhawks Wednesday
Carey Price is a career 2-1-0 against the Chicago Blackhawks, with a GAA of 1.99 and a .954 SvPct. His lone loss was in October of 2009, a 3-2 decision, despite 33 saves on the night.
But with the Canadiens now sitting on a three game losing streak, none of which could be labelled on the goalie, coach Randy Cunneyworth has decided to shake things up.
So instead of matching up the team's best player against the best team in the Western Conference, the Habs bench boss will go with Peter Budaj on Wednesday night.
It might be a message to the rest of the team, who have performed sub-par since he took over from Jacques Martin on Saturday morning. It has to be that, or Cunneyworth didn't do his research. Budaj's career record against Chicago is 4-4-1 (2.99, .900). His last appearance at the United Center was a 4-0 loss last season while with the Colorado Avalanche.
"I have the utmost confidence in both our goaltenders, and we've got a big workload right now against good teams. We have to combine the goalies in our efforts.," Cunneyworth said after Tuesday's practice. "Peter's a real professional and he's very inspirational in his work ethic. I think today's the day he get things in order in his own mind. He'll be ready for the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow."
Cunneyworth also noted that the rest of the team will need to play a strong supporting roll for their goaltender, something not seen of late for Price. "He can't be at his own device. We gotta play in tandem with him and be there for him," Cunneyworth added. "I think the guys will rally around his play."
Full video of the coach's post-practice scrum, and other Habs links after the jump
TSN990's Conor McKenna hijack's Eric Engels blog and asks, "Protect the language, or protect the puck?"
Guy Carbonneau says French is a necessity for a Habs coach. Apparently the issue has reached Montreal's City Hall.
Chris Johnston with some potential coaches in Montreal.
Fred Poulin on the Habs unexpected hidden gem
Backstrom's Cup Ring Fetches $13K: I met Habs legend Ralph Backstrom, at an autograph signing, a couple years back. At the time he was sporting one of his Stanley Cup rings. I inquired as to which it was, and he kindly showed it to me and explained that it was a ring acknowledging the Canadiens four Cups wins from 1955 to 1959. Up until then there were no individual rings given to teams for a Cup victory.
That very same ring fetched $13,222 at a recent Leland's auction .
Another unique item was a personal letter from Jacques Plante to Marcel Roy, who was a representative with Molson's Brewery at the time. With some translation help from Robert Lefebvre, the letter, dated in 1970 notes that Plante was happy not to be in Montreal at the time, amidst the impatient fans. At the time Plante was with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The letter sold for just over $275, not a bad deal for the avid collector, while a Howie Morenz signed studio photo fetched over $3000.