By Darren Eliot, SI.com
Five thoughts on the series I'm covering for Versus:
1. So, Guy Carbonneau replaced Carey Price with Jaroslav Halak for Game 4. Price was routinely allowing soft goals, but more telltale was his body language. He looked perplexed and defeatist in his reaction to the events of Games 2 and 3. That kind of hang dog response weighs on your team, but as Carbonneau told me, "I just felt that the Flyers felt they could get to Carey anytime they wanted, so I felt strongly about making the switch."
2. In counseling with assistant coach Kirk Muller, goalie coach Rollie Melanson and GM Bob Gainey, Carbonneau wasn't trying to spread the decision around. He was merely looking for input to confirm what he was seeing and feeling.
3. Part of the learning process for a 20-year old like Price is that you are accountable for your performance. By sitting him, the Canadiens' management sent a valuable message to all players that harkens back to the days when Gainey and Carbonneau captained the bleu, blanc et rouge: Everyone has to earn their ice for the Canadiens. No one gets to play on based on past accolades. Not Guy Lafleur of yesteryear and not Carey Price of today.
4. If you look at the timing, Game 4 was the only time that Carbonneau could make a goaltending move. If he played Price in Game 4 and he again performed in a pedestrian manner, he still had to come back with him in Game 5 since putting Halak in at home in an elimination game for his first start wouldn't have been viable. If Halak had won Game 4, Carbonneau could come back with him again and ride the short-term gain garnered by the switch.
5. Since no such gain materialized, I expect Carey Price to play on Saturday in Game 5. If you're Carbonneau, you hope the sitting spurs Price on and he reestablishes his confident play from early in the playoffs. If he doesn't find his form, at least you gave him the chance at redemption and you didn't go down with your number one goaltender sitting on the bench.