he is back! Eyes on the prize

Carrie Price gave us the quote to end all quotes today when he said; “I want to finish playing at an acceptable level – I don’t know how long but at the end of the day I want to be able to say I let the game play well and not be a burden.”

It must be really hard to come up with a quote like that that doesn’t sound like a pun when your name is Carrie Price. For example, he can’t say, “I don’t want to get pregnant.” A quote like that would have a very high price.

I had the good fortune to be at the New York Islanders game on Friday and it was my 2-year-old daughter’s first hockey game. I’m not a very emotional person, but I was surprised at how impactful it was to join the choir chanting “Carrie, Carrie, Carrie” for the first time this year.

If it made me a little emotional, my daughter made it worse when she misheard the crowd and started chanting “Dad, Dad, Dad.”

Mandatory humor aside, Curry’s quote reminded me of another famous Montreal Canadiens goalkeeper who retired at the age of 37 (coincidentally, he’s one year younger than Carrie Price when his contract expires).

Last year in the NHL’s Mystery Goalie B, he played 65 games and scored 0.920 with five finishes. One could say he came out on his own terms because he obviously had more to give posting numbers like that.

I’m talking, of course, about Patrick Roy who didn’t finish his career with the Canadians, but of course he was a member of the Colorado Avalanche at the time.

Pride is an important thing for professional athletes. An argument can be made that it is important to goalkeepers above all else. The main difference between goalkeepers and every other player on the team is that when the goalkeeper wears his gloves, the game is in him. No individual situation decides the outcome of a match more than the goalkeeper.

That is why the question is not “are goalkeepers arrogant” but “how arrogant are goalkeepers”?

When it comes to Bryce’s play, Friday was an encouraging night for me. I wasn’t too concerned about my knees because an athletic physicist friend of mine told me that surgery to repair a meniscus tear is often very successful.

The two concerns I had were the scar tissue in the knee resulting in pain and movement of the hip. The latter because there were rumors of lingering hip problems. I’m not a doctor and can’t ask Bryce how he’s feeling but from what I saw those hips were moving like Elvis.

A good indication of how those hips and knees moved was how he got in and out of the RVH. For starters, RVH is the post position that looks like a butterfly but you are loaded into a single post. One of the most difficult movements to make for your hips is when you turn from the “exit” to the back right and back to the goal line.

The reason for this is that to turn on the rear axle you have to put your leg very far forward and then use the skate blade as a rudder so that when you push to the side it sends your momentum back. Watch this price clip from last night and judge for yourself what his moves look like.

The only problem I noticed with Bryce was that he wasn’t gripping his edges very well. I can already hear a chorus of people saying ‘He always comes down early’ but in my humble opinion, he doesn’t do that more than any other goalkeeper in the league.

A lot of times when I hear him criticize for coming down early, it’s more about seeing through the screen or simply not being early at all. But the fact that he was coming down early last night is actually a positive.

So here’s my rationale for oversimplification. If you hesitate to go down it could indicate pain and if you go down early it could indicate exhaustion. There are obviously a plethora of other reasons but I’m only getting rid of the most common ones.

The price has been off for a long time; First for personal reasons, then for injury. It wouldn’t be surprising if his conditioning wasn’t the best (he’s not really known for his conditioning anyway).

So the fact that he was coming down early suggests that he may have been experiencing more stress than pain.

This bodes well for the near future, but what about the long term? The truth is, no one really knows. But despite the outcome, Price’s play gave me a good feeling that he would indeed have a chance to come out on his own terms.

For someone who fought just as hard and gave so many of us some of our favorite playoff memories, this makes me happy. Boone Chance, Carrie!

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