Thursday, January 12, 2012

Star Light, Star Bright

So, Carey Price is an All-Star. It's come to this. The Canadiens are so bad, they don't really have a legitimate star among them, so they're subject to the pity pick.

Based on talent alone, Price deserves consideration for a spot. Based on this year's numbers, which is normally the case for All-Star selection, he's not exactly top-three in the Eastern Conference. His 2.46 GAA has him 20th in the league, and his SV% (the more telling stat) of .913 has him 24th. Those aren't terrible numbers, but they're certainly not All-Star stats.

No, this is a situation in which a prominent, wealthy Canadian team sucks so badly the league appoints a representative just so the fans can say a Hab was there. This is Yannick Perreault representing Phoenix a few years ago. He didn't belong there either, but he was a pity pick. It's not as bad as the fans voting Mike Komisarek an All-Star starter, but it's not something to be proud about.

This, to be clear, is not a knock on Price. He's conducted himself with dignity all season, in the face of one disaster after another. Most of the time, if the team has a chance to scrape up a point, it's because of him. He's given up some weak goals, but every goalie does. It's not Price's fault everyone expects him to be perfect every night. Considering his workload and the horrendous defence in front of him, it's a miracle Price has managed to even keep his numbers within the realm of respectability at all. He might even feel a little embarrassed about getting sent to the game, knowing that Marc-Andre Fleury, Tuuka Rask and even Jose Theodore are having better years. If he were in the Western Conference, even a pity pick wouldn't get him to the game.

This is not a condemnation of Price in any way, but it's a clear indication of how far the Habs have fallen this year. When the season started, they had legitmate candidates on the voting ballot. Now it's unthinkable that any of those guys should have even been considered as All-Stars. Price would be better off claiming family responsibility or something similar and taking a week's holiday. He's been worked to death for nothing all season anyway.

The All-Star game is only watchable when your team has got players involved. When the only one there is suiting up only because somebody has to go, "watchable" becomes "excruciating." Oh well, at least Price can't get picked last in the captain draft because goalies have to go early. Ovechkin won't get to "Kessel" him and really make this year memorable for the wrong reasons.


DT said...

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! This team still deserves our support (Cammi, though, not so much). Price has been our best penalty killer all year round. But why has the team taken so many stupid penalties this year? Can't blame them all on the refs. Surely, this is an indication of something much more serious. Rebuilding time.

I doubt Molson will forfeit a dime in loss revenue if he dare take the necessary steps to do the right thing. It's business, that's all.

Anonymous said...

Well, we live in interesting times. Was worried what PG would do next and he went ahead and did it anyway.

I don't follow hockey closely except for the Canadiens so don't know much about Bourque. But feel pretty confident we just lost a good one
despite this year's perceptions.