The Bruins/Habs rivalry never dies, particularly for the old-time Bruins players who went through so much heartache over the years against the Montreal Canadiens.
So Bruins Hall of Fame goaltender Gerry Cheevers couldn’t resist when he was asked a question about Tuukka Rask and Carey Price while doing a Zoom virtual town hall with Bruins season ticket holders on Thursday morning. Cheesy called Rask one of the best goalies in the NHL and didn’t exactly have the same ringing endorsement for Price up in Montreal.
“Nowadays they are so big and so largely padded. They go down as the puck is over the blue line and they’re already in a position like that. Today’s goalies, I love Tuukka. He’s big. He fills the net. I would say he’s in the top 2 or 3 in the league right now,” said Cheevers. “I’m not a big Price fan. He hasn’t won. And he loses certain games that he shouldn’t lose.”
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It was a question about today’s goaltenders that kicked off the conversation in general, and Cheevers said that Martin Brodeur might be the best goaltender of all-time from any era given all the different parts of the position that he combined to be a Hall of Famer.
Certainly Cheevers is right on this season with Rask poised to be a Vezina Trophy finalist while leading the NHL in goals against average (2.12) and ranking second in the league with a .929 save percentage. Meanwhile Price has struggled behind a young, mediocre Habs team with a 27-25-6 record with a 2.79 goals against average and a .909 save percentage, and has battled with injuries and consistency over the last couple seasons.
In all fairness, however, Cheever’s criticisms of Price could very well be lodged against Rask as well as the Bruins goaltender has never won a Stanley Cup as Boston’s No. 1 goaltender. The former Vezina Trophy winner faltered a bit in Game 7 last June against the Blues after a brilliant postseason run for the Black and Gold, and has never quite been able to get the Bruins over the top in many of his big postseason games.
And while Price obviously hasn't won a Stanley Cup at this point in his career, he has won Olympic Gold, a World Junior title and captured a Calder Cup at the AHL level. So there are a few impressive W's there in big games for the Montreal goalie during his career.
It wasn't that long ago that Rask was outplayed by Price in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Montreal goalie was demonstrably better than his Bruins counterpart in a second-round seven-game series.
Both Price (fifth overall) and Rask (21st overall) have long been compared to each other as the top two goalie prospects coming out of the 2005 NHL Draft, and this is just another chapter of that courtesy of Mr. Cheevers.