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04-13-2013, 12:27 PM
  #437
Lebowski
In Price We Trust
 
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One thing I've come to realize is that the team doesn't play the same way when it's Budaj in the net. Maybe it's because they feel less comfortable, but they usually play a much tighter game. Or maybe it's only because Budaj usually gets to play against weaker teams? It's not a knock on him, really, since he's been great ever since his slow start, but one have to wonder what's going on in the players head when Budaj plays, or what Therrien changes in the gameplan.

It's not that Price faces that many more shots (0,446 shots per minute, compared to 0,432 for Budaj), it just seems like he has to deal with more quality shots/chances of scoring. Now, from my experience as a goalie, albeit to a much lower level, I can already say that player tend to get sloppy when A. they know you're going to save their ass regardless or B. you keep on crapping the bed. Let's hope the players are more feeling like "A" coming into the playoffs with Price in the nets.

Also, my personnal take on Price is that he's at his best when he faces a lot of shots. I was the same way and in fact, most goalie will have a better SV% when they face a lot of shots. It keeps you involved in the game and by the look of Price, who seems like an overly calm guy in the nets, that might play a role in his sub-par stats this season.

In 2010-2011, when Price was somewhat in the conversation for the Vezina, he had a 0,510 shot avrage per minute, roughly 14,5% more than for this current season. The Habs were a bubble team that season, finishing 6th in the east with a mere +7 differential.

My theory, if we can call it that way, is that Price numbers will be strongly inflated if he faces strong competition in the playoffs (at least 30+ shots a game constantly).

Now all the number I just brought up could only be a strange string of coincidences, but from my point of view, and taking all things into account, I think that explains why Price has seemed a bit underwhelming this season. People hold against him that he hasn't stole games for us, but with the way the team is playing, he doesn't have as many occasions to steal games as he had in the past.

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