Argument with Markov no big deal, Price claims

 

Carey Price isn’t losing sleep over the words he had nearly two weeks ago with defenceman Andrei Markov. The argument that Markov sort of suggested didn’t happen. The one forward Brian Gionta flatly said didn’t take place.

 
 
 
 
 

MONTREAL — Carey Price isn’t losing sleep over the words he had nearly two weeks ago with defenceman Andrei Markov. The argument that Markov sort of suggested didn’t happen. The one forward Brian Gionta flatly said didn’t take place.

What the Montreal Canadiens goaltender does have a problem with, however, is that someone, presumably a teammate, “snitched,” taking the discussion beyond the team’s dressing room.

“It happens all the time on a team, disagreements happen on the bench every period,” Price said after practice Monday, closing the book on the words he exchanged with Markov on Jan. 20 following the Canadiens’ 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis.

Various reports last Wednesday had Markov having questioned Price’s heart, a charge not paraphrased but quoted verbatim.

The loss to St. Louis saw Price steamrolled by the Blues’ Cam Janssen when the goalie strayed far from his net to play a puck. He dropped his blocker and trapper and tried in vain to duke it out with Janssen. Only Canadiens defenceman Roman Hamrlik prevented Price from earning his first career major penalty and surely his first fighting loss.

“I think he’s a pretty tough dude, so I’m not sure it was a good idea,” Price joked of Janssen, adding that he believes a goalie should be fair game if he wanders. “I’d like to (fight) eventually. But obviously, timing is everything.”

On a more serious note, Monday was the first time Price has addressed his words exchanged with Markov.

“I don’t know why this was such a big deal,” he said. “I’m sure everybody gets into a disagreement with their mom or dad and they get over it. You saw it with the hug last week (Price playfully embraced Markov last Thursday at the end of practice). We’ve moved past it. It’s not a lingering issue.

“We haven’t thought about it since last week and here we are, talking about something that never would have happened if our (dressing-room) doors were actually closed.”

Price said that matters like this should remain in the room “because they’re not that big of a deal. (But) when you have guys snitching about stuff like that, that’s when it gets blown out of proportion.”

The goalie was hardly distressed by weekend reports that he had been packaged with centre Tomas Plekanec last June in a trade to Tampa Bay for Vincent Lecavalier, a deal said to have been torpedoed by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

“Your first year in the NHL, everything’s like, ‘Oh, wow,’ because you’re really in awe about being in the league,” Price said. “You want to watch yourself on TV because it’s new to you.

“But I’ve been in the league for three years, so when (trade) speculation comes around, the way I deal with it is I just don’t watch. The only newspaper I read is USA Today, because we don’t get much coverage in it. I’ll check the standings, but I have no real urge to watch hockey away from the rink.”

Price continues to work hard in practice to sharpen his game, which he admits has been considerably less than he expected coming into the season. He won’t know before Tuesday morning whether he’ll get the start Tuesday night against the Canucks, his record 11-17-4 with a tepid .913 save percentage.

He does hope head coach Jacques Martin gives him the start; he’d love to make amends for his screen-door effort of Oct. 7, having surrendered seven Vancouver goals on 32 shots in a 7-1 loss.

“I wasn’t picturing myself with 11 wins at this time of year,” Price said. “Disappointed is definitely a good word for it. I have to keep trying to gut it out.

“Hopefully, the results will come and I start getting the bounces. I feel like I deserve them and feel like I’m going to get them.”

Montreal Gazette

dstubbs@thegazette.canwest.com
 
 
 
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