WILMINGTON, MA – The Bruins are insistent Carey Price isn’t in their collective heads after one impressively dominant performance between the pipes against Boston in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series. The Habs goaltender had moments of brilliance in his 48 save effort in taking a double overtime win over the Bruins, and pushed Tuukka Rask to being winless in nine decisions against the Canadiens on the home ice at TD Garden. There were even some instances of players like Torey Krug double-clutching on shots aimed at the Montreal net, and taking themselves out of good scoring chances while trying to wait out Price.
Those moments along with proficient scorers like David Krejci and Jarome Iginla missing wide with their shots would normally scream out a team that’s trying to be a little too pin-point with their shots at the Montreal net. It’s a common malady when a hockey team is overdoing it against an accomplished goaltender, but Claude Julien said that wasn’t the case quite yet with the Bruins and Price.
“That's you guys dissecting that stuff there, because it's not the way we think. There are a lot of good goaltenders in this league. We've got one. We basically still got three goals on him last night, so we're not there and certainly not thinking that same way,” said Julien. “We've just got to play our game, and the chances are there. I'm going to go back to what I said earlier; bury those great opportunities.
“We played well, but there were a lot of open nets that we missed, there was a lot of chances that if we would have shot them properly, instead of panicking maybe, we get ourselves a goal.”
To Julien’s point, the Bruins missed on a whopping 17 shots in the loss, and Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton and Patrice Bergeron all missed on three shots apiece in the double overtime thriller. The Bruins know that Price was excellent in Game 1, but there’s also a nagging feeling they could be better about forcing the issue with him.
“At the end of the day the only thing that matters is that we didn’t win,” said Brad Marchand. “We need to bear down a little more on the opportunities that we had. Price played really well and he made some big saves. But he got lucky a few times like on the one that Bergeron tipped behind him, and then it hit me. Otherwise that would have been a goal.
“Sometimes it’s not meant to be, but he made some good saves. He’s a great goalie, but I don’t think it’s in our heads. We know he played well in the last series, and that we’re going to have to battle for every goal. We just need to be persistent.”
Despite his Herculean Game 1 effort, Price is still sitting with just a 2.28 goals against average and .916 save percentage to go along with the five playoff wins thus far. There was also plenty of open net to shoot at in Game 1 despite the showy, “look at me” glove saves that Price looked to unleash every time a lazy wrist shot was snapped his way.
The Bruins will be looking end all the Price is Right discussion with their Game 2 effort on Saturday afternoon before it gets out of hand