A dozen hours after showing up to the podium smiling and obviously relieved at the victory over the Senators, Carey Price was back to his usual drab air yesterday at noon. Short answers, your monotone, agelast look.
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He barely let out a semblance of emotion when asked to comment on the dismissal of Stéphane Waite, the one who was practically his personal trainer for eight seasons.
“It is certainly surprising. It’s part of the business, ”he simply dropped.
Hired by Marc Bergevin in the summer of 2013, Waite quickly had an impact on Price’s performance. In the first two seasons, Price established personal marks by maintaining save rates of .927 and .933.
Along the way, he had secured the titular position of Team Canada goaltender at the 2014 Olympics and led the Habs to the Eastern Conference final a few months later.
These two seasons culminated in the titles of Best Goalkeeper (Vézina Trophy) and Most Valuable Player (Hart Trophy) at the NHL Annual Banquet in June 2015.
He had also seen his name inscribed on the First Team All-Star, the Jennings Trophy (best goals-against average) and the Pearson Trophy (player-voted MVP).
“I am grateful for the time spent with Stéph. He has been a very hardworking and dedicated goalkeeper coach. I really appreciated all the work he did with us, he said. With all the time you spend with a goalie coach, the communication channel is much bigger than with any other coach. These are links that are forged over time. ”
“An evolution of small things”
Price said he made a call to Waite late Tuesday evening. But, true to his habit, he seemed to have already moved on Wednesday at noon.
“We don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for ourselves. You have to pull yourself together and get the job done quickly, ”said the 33-year-old masked man.
Moreover, the British Columbian did not want to elaborate too much on the difficult times he has known in recent seasons. The very people who, even if Bergevin wanted to argue the opposite, inevitably led to Waite’s dismissal.
“Ups and downs, there are every season. You have to stay focused on the goal. I think it’s just an evolution of little things that got to this point. ”
While waiting to forge links in person with Sean Burke who, according to Bergevin’s estimates, should be able to jump on the ice of the Brossard Sports Complex on March 19, the three members of the Habs will have to be content with virtual meetings. . This was the case for the first time yesterday.
“How quickly you bond with a goalie coach depends on the personalities. Sean is a great guy who is easy to talk to. So I have no doubt that, in this case, it will be done quickly. ”
They also worked with Marco Marciano. The Laval Rocket goalie coach, the 39-year-old will follow up with the trio as Burke completes his 14-day quarantine. Already, he seemed very active with Price, focusing in particular on the positioning of his mitt.
“He’s a very enthusiastic guy. It brings a lot of energy. It will be fun, ”he said.
It remains to be seen whether Burke and Marciano will be able to bring Price back to his level of excellence.