It was far from pretty. But it was more than apparent only one team came out to play in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Habs looked out of sorts, out of place, and out of their league. Two goals in 1:52 set the tone for the remainder of the match.
They clearly weren’t mentally prepared after the long tough series against the Bruins. In many aspects they looked like they were still playing the same grinding game they were required to utilize against Boston, instead of getting back to the quick paced north/south game that made them effective in the first round against the Lightning.
The biggest scare of the opening game was the potential injury to Carey Price, who took a skate to the leg from Chris Kreider who slid into him after losing his edge during a breakaway attempt that failed.
Price remained on the ice clearly nursing his knee, but after several minutes spent with trainers on the ice, Number 31 remained in the blue paint. He remained there only for the duration of the second period giving up 4 goals on 20 shots. Budaj faired no better in the third.
There has been much speculation regarding Price starting game two Monday night in Montréal.
During this mornings optional skate at Complexe Sportif Bell in Brossard, Price only skated for 5 minutes and took no shots. His time on the ice was spent working on lateral movement only.
Therrien remained vague regarding the hopes for the net minder to start In game two stating only that the decision wouldn’t be made until Monday. The loss of Price would have devastating consequences on the Canadiens post-season, as he’s been instrumental in the teams success.
Other players opting out of this mornings skate were forwards Tomâs Plekanec and Lars Eller, as well as defencemen Josh Gorges and PK Subban.
Game two is set to get underway shortly after 20h00 at the Bell Centre in Montréal.
It can bee seen on CBC, RDS, and heard on TSN690.
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