If you can't stand the heat...
Carey Price looks like he will start tonight for Les Habitants. Honestly, that is just fine for most Flyers fans, since it appears throughout the first three games that the Orange and Black have gotten deep inside the young goalie phenom's kitchen. Price, whom many refer to as the second coming of St. Patty Roy, has looked decidedly human in the first three games in the series and has been overshadowed by the opportunism of the Flyers and the netminding of Marty Biron. While there is no doubting the talent of this 20 year old, some of the play of the 5th pick in the 2005 draft has been less than stellar - which he certainly was during the regular season. He seems to be fighting the puck and not seeing it as well as he normally might.
In fact, many of the Flyers' goals have come on the glove hand, as detailed by Richards' shortie to the low glove side at 15:12 of the second period in game 3. In game three, Price gave up 3 goals on 12 shots and has an abysmal .853 save percentage in the three games, thus far. The Flyers need to continue to put concerted pressure on this young star and try to keep him off balance and fighting the puck.
If you're the Flyers, you want to do EVERYTHING
you can to continue to try to rattle his melon - including shots from bizzare angles and well-timed extracurricular monkey business around and in the crease. The key to a Flyers' game 4 victory might begin and end with how much they can play a physical game with the 5 position players and a mental one with the goaltender. If they try to skate with Montreal and put the Habs on the powerplay, they will lose. If they can scrap, annoy, outhustle and intimidate the Canadiens and take them out of their game while getting deeper inside Price's head - they can win. None of this is possible if the Flyers cannot stay out of the Sin Bin. The Habs have far too deadly a powerplay to continue to hope for bouncing pucks, missed shots and ringing shots off posts. They are bound to pot some of those sooner than later. Therefore, the Flyers need to play with controlled aggression and not be intentionally goaded or lose focus and end up in the box.
If they can stay clear bad penalties, the flyers have been winning the battles 5-on-5. The score in game three was 3-0 during all but 5 minutes of the third period. The two scores during the major for boarding show how quickly the momentum can change and how devastating the Canadiens can be if given time and space.
Will Carey Price rebound with a stellar effort? Dunno, but it is highly possible. The first 10 minutes of the game will go a long way towards telling if he has shaken off the Flyer -induced cobwebs that forced him to be yanked from game 3. One thing is certain, the Flyers and the Flyers' Faithful will be looking to unleash their own brand of Voodoo on young Mr. Price.
Will he, as the sign suggests? That has yet to be determined. I am sure, the nearly 20,000 fans in attendance might have something to say about that. Who will have the final say? Not sure.
One thing I do know, the heat is on and the kitchen is getting hotter by the minute...Flame on!
Thanks for reading...