Habs coach talks loss of Carey Price for remainder of ECF

Comments from Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien following the team’s morning skate in advance of Game 2 vs. the New York Rangers…

Q. If you can, just in English, Carey Price’s value for the series, and what it means to this team?

COACH THERRIEN: You know what, Carey Price won’t be able to play tonight, not only for tonight, but for the rest of that series. Really disappointed. He’s our best player. 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 end up losing your best player. But our group faced a lot of adversity through the course of the season, and we respond and we’ve got the attitude to respond really well, and this is what I’m expecting starting tonight.

Q. In light of the news about Carey, what did you say to your club in terms of how they’re going to overcome this state of adversity?

COACH THERRIEN: Well, you know what? One thing that we always preach with our team is being good teammates, and we’ve got a chance tonight again to give Carey Price a chance to get back in the playoffs, so to be able to do that, we’re going to have to be at our best because we’re playing against some world hockey players. We play against a good hockey
team, and we’ll need to be at our best to give Price a chance to come back in the playoffs.

Q. So, in theory, if you were guys were to reach the Stanley Cup Final, Carey could play, and the second part of that, what do you expect to learn about the rest of your team tonight given what’s got to be pretty big news for them?

COACH THERRIEN: I know our team’s got a lot of character. That is the number one reason why we’re here. We were capable to prove it in the past, and again, we’ve got that challenge to show again that we’ve got tons of character and we’re saying that Carey’s not able to play in this series. We want to go further. We hope that he’s going to be ready if we can be capable to play against. But obviously, he’s not capable to play.

Q. So you don’t know if he will be ready in two weeks?

COACH THERRIEN: No.

Q. Do you think Price’s — the fact that he stayed in the game after that hit, did that have anything to do with making the injury any worse?

COACH THERRIEN: No.

Q. Secondly, Dustin Tokarski, what did you learn about him this season, and would you be comfortable using him at this stage?

COACH THERRIEN: Honestly, I like your question, but I’m not here to talk about players right now. We’re here to talk about our team. Obviously, we’ve got two guys that we’ve got confidence in, so we’ll let you know tonight.

Q. When you are making that decision, what factors in as the most important when you are choosing between Tokarski or Budaj?

COACH THERRIEN: I already made my decision. I know where I’m going.

Q. What was the biggest factor?

COACH THERRIEN: You’ll see tonight.

Q. In light of what you said about Kreider, to what extent are you emphasizing to your team that you’re not facing Chris Kreider tonight, you’re facing a team?

COACH THERRIEN: For sure, we know what happened with Kreider, we know the history, and we know a lot of things. But our main focus is to make sure we play a solid game. We’ve got to make sure we play hard, we play with passion, and we’ll be disciplined the way that we’re capable of playing.

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