By Michael Farber, SI.com
For all those hockey historians out there, chew on this: the four goaltenders with the most wins in the history of the Montreal Canadiens -- Bill Durnan, Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy -- all won Stanley Cups as rookies. All of you who were about to carve Carey Price's handsome kisser into a Mount Rushmore of Montreal goaltending, chisels down.
Price, coming off a 1-0 shutout in Game 4 in Boston, had the temerity to behave like a 20-year-old Thursday night, somehow managing to marry his storied cool with a dash of recklessness. Instead of opting to freeze the puck for a faceoff early in the third period of a 1-1 game, he decided to keep the puck moving. Petteri Nokelainen and Glen Metropolit pounced, Metropolit tucked in the puck and the Bruins had a one-goal lead they would parlay into a 5-1 Game 5 victory, making this first-round series far more interesting. Rookie mistake? Sure. Of course, a veteran has made a similar one in these playoffs.
Alas, like Martin Brodeur's gaffe that the Rangers' Ryan Callahan converted in the New Jersey-New York series, this was a brain cramp that will go on Price's permanent record. If Price has a flaw, it is his cold-bloodedness. He can be way too cool for his own good, a reality that one of the owners of his junior team, Washington Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig, has long noted. "Sometimes he'll almost fall asleep out there," Kolzig told me late in the season, "and let in a soft one." Through four playoffs games, Price had been virtually bulletproof -- a .957 save percentage -- but the Bruins coated their sticks in Kryptonite.
At least one 20-year-old had a good evening. Boston coach Claude Julien reinserted Phil Kessel into the lineup after scratching him for three straight games. Kessel was benched after Game 1 because he seemed too soft for the rigors of the playoffs, but Julien desperately needed goals and couldn't be fussy. Kessel, one of the few Bruins who can turn a game on one shot, scored the first Boston goal on the power play, grabbing a rebound off his own shot that struck Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek and slipping the puck through Price's five hole. But it was Metropolit's soft goal that was decisive, deflating the Canadiens and distracting Price, who looked like an ingenue for the rest of the game.
The police in Montreal, anticipating the best (a series clincher) and the worst (excessive celebration), could collect their overtime while barely working. Sort of like Montreal in the third period.