Carey Price’s return to the Canadians is a major moment for the franchise and for the man – The Athletic

What makes Montreal a special place to play hockey could not have been better illustrated by the stark contrast at the beginning.

As early as 4:30 p.m., two and a half hours before the game started, a crowd gathered around the Bell Center players’ garage because he was playing that night. The person who is the face of the Montreal Canadiens while playing for the Montreal Canadiens. And that gathering was special because the Canadians are in the trash season of the season, but Carey Price, playing his first game since losing in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals nine months earlier, was something worth to be celebrated.

And people celebrated.

When the starting goalies were announced on the scoreboard and Price’s name had dashes where his season stats should have been, people roared. When he came out to warm up, people roared. And as he led the Canadians onto the ice to start the game, Price was greeted with a standing ovation.

There was an excitement at Bell Center not felt in months since the Stanley Cup Finals, an occasion only Price could convey given what he has meant to this organization for so long. It was a sell-out crowd, only the fourth of what has been a difficult season – on many levels – for the Canadians. And Price was the only reason why.

It’s been a long time since the warm-up gave fans a reason to cheer. It had been a long time since the team using the ice for a game gave fans a reason to stand up and applaud. That’s what Carey Price means here. Carey Price’s return to the Canadians is a major moment for the franchise and for the man – The Athletic

Olly Dawes

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