Carey Price is done for the remainder of the series against the Rangers and maybe beyond…..if there is a beyond. Price was hit by a skates first Chris Kreider on a second period breakaway and appears to have suffered damage to his right knee. He finished the period but was replaced by Peter Budaj for the third period.
The goalmouth collision was termed as “accidentally on purpose” by the Canadiens Brandon Prust at Sunday’s optional practice, an assessment echoed by head coach Michel Therrien. Tuesday Therrien was less forgiving. “Looking at the incident, you know, it’s a reckless play. That’s the truth. And Kreider, this is not the first time he’s going at goalies, so you end up losing your best player. But our group faced a lot of adversity through the cours of the season, and we respond. And we’ve got the attitude to respond really well, and this is what I’m expecting tonight.”
Now the question is, who starts in goal for the Canadiens in Game Two – Peter Budaj or Dustin Tokarski. Therrien didn’t answer that during his noon hour news conference. Budaj gave up three power play goals on eight shots in the third period of Game One. During the regular season he started one of the three games against the Rangers and shut them out on October 28th. On the other hand, the 24 year old Tokarski is considered the future backup for Price when Budaj’s contract expires at the end of next season. He was 20-16-3 at Hamilton with a 2.38GAA and a .919 save percentage. He is considered a “battler” and it showed it his three appearances with the Habs during the regulars season when he was 2-0-0 with a 1.84GAA and a .946 save percentage. All tolled, he has played in ten NHL games split between the Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. Tokarski has been skating with the so-called “Black Aces” at the Canadiens practice facility in Brossard after the Hamilton season ended a month ago.