Basically, Dominique Ducharme could not lose by sending Carey Price in front of goal last night.
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CH faced a mediocre team, one of the worst in the league, and every chance of victory was lined up for them.
Or Carey Price had a start and, well protected by his teammates, was able to win the game. And so, Ducharme won his bet.
Or else Price collapsed once more and the Senators beat the Canadiens, causing a surprise.
Dominique Ducharme won anyway, because he was getting out of the eternal dilemma between displeasing his star Carey Price and allowing Jake Allen to win matches.
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PRICE DID HIS JOB
If Price had been the losing keeper, Ducharme would have been released for a couple of weeks. He could have put Allen in five or six games in a row without getting his life poisoned by the media and Price’s agent.
But the Canadian won and Carey Price did his job. He didn’t steal the game, no need, he just did his job well and under the circumstances it was fine.
Yesterday, José Théodore raised a point that has tormented me for more than 10 years. Theo recalled that from the beginnings of Price with the Canadian, the management had always incubated and protected him. As soon as Cristobal Huet had shown a little panache, we had traded. No doubt so as not to shake Price’s confidence.
Then, when Jaroslav Halak clearly overtook Price in quite a fabulous spring in 2010 by knocking out the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins in quick succession, Pierre Gauthier shipped Halak to St. Louis in exchange for Lars Eller. How urgent was it to get rid of Halak? Carey Price should not be “distracted”, he explained to me when the season resumed.
In fact, other than maybe Peter Budaj, Carey Price has never had to compete in Montreal at all. He was like a Formula 1 driver who would be given a taxi driver as a teammate. He could afford a terrible month of November without paying the price.
In addition, any goalkeeper sitting on a contract ending in 2026 at 10.4 million US per year knows that he is becoming untouchable.
A QUESTION OF PERSONALITY
But it looks like it’s not enough for Price. It may be a coincidence, but the arrival of Jake Allen seemed to disturb him. Destabilize him.
We would need to know Carey Price much better to allow ourselves to go further. We know that he is a relatively easy athlete to manage, that he does not play the superstar in the group, that he can be very nice … except when he has to talk to journalists after a loss.
But what do we really know about him other than the hundreds of photos posted by his wife, Angela, on Instagram? We know that he’s not the one who seems to take up the most space in the family, but that’s all …
The rest ? It happens very often that talented men and women are unable to handle the stress of competing internally in a company. That the idea of even surpassing a teammate to keep position and privileges is disturbing …
If so, it may become very complicated to manage. Because, you see, Carey Price is not getting any younger.
Vézina: a great book
I confess, I thought I knew a lot about Georges Vézina. You cannot have grown up in Chicoutimi-Nord and passed in front of the Georges-Vézina Center without knowing the idol of goalkeepers. The Chicoutimi Cucumber!
So I started reading Mikaël Lalancette’s book, taking a chapter at random. I promised myself to browse from one page to another without settling too much in the book. Just to see…
It was a mistake. And Lalancette quickly won his bet. After a quarter of an hour, I took up Patrick Roy’s preface and devoured, page by page, line by line, a fabulous story. In fact, a story so well told it makes for a great book.
A great book happens when an author has spent thousands of hours researching. It’s simple, there is not an important detail that is not validated by Lalancette. Old newspapers from the 1920s, weeklies, magazines, regional clippings, extracts from Progress from Saguenay, one would swear that the author has unearthed everything and read everything about the life of Georges Vézina. It’s teeming with life.
Plus, it’s written in a simple, flowing style. What is most difficult about writing. A large slice of bread of 15 lines, it’s easy to spread. But it is unreadable. Simply telling is an art. Lalancette’s book can be read without making an effort.
And yet, it is a formidable portrait of all of Quebec and sometimes Canadian society that he paints with a light and precise brush.
Against the backdrop of ancestral struggles between Anglos and French Canadians, between the dominant and the colonized.
We find in a few lines the smoky view in a natural ice arena, trams, trains …
My colleague Marc de Foy, talks about the Vézina sweater …
I just wanted to make sure you are having fun …