"Carey has given us a chance to win every night," Martin said. "He's made tremendous progress in the year and a half that I've been here. Maturity-wise, he's improved. His work ethic is improved and his fitness level is better, but probably the biggest change has been his intensity. Being a laid-back individual, he's been a little more conscious that he needs to be more intense."
The bottom line for Montreal and Carey Price: redemption doesn't stop at 82 games. He has a 3.17 GAA and an .894 save percentage in the playoffs, having gone 5-11. He hasn't won in his last eight playoff appearances.
These two tidbits really stood out for me.
Especially the bold part. Last season, Price wasn't very active in nets and relied too much on his big frame and technique. Most shots on net that weren't aimed at him were going in last season. This season Price can actually make reflex saves and he battles when he makes a mistakes. Also, he seems very rarely out of position. Last season, you'd see him over commit on some shots, scramble to get back in position only to end up on his back/belly flopping around. There's a night and day difference between the 09-10 Price and the 10-11 Price. He's surpassed the level at which he played in his rookie season by a long shot even. His consistency is perhaps the most impressive and valuable aspect of his game atm. Even his bad games are not that bad. I don't even get the feeling it could stop because everything seems so easy for him and he's fixed all the things I hated about his game as a goalie.
I've always said goalies are the hardest to evaluate. Not to make excuses for myself, but glad Price is doing so well. This season is most likely going to earn him a vezina nomination. I never would have expected him to rebound like that after the last season and a half of struggles he's faced, and especially after the pre-season games where the fans really got on his back and the whole "chill out" incident. I'm impressed.