Do you see the circle of protection around Price? The Habs are playing better because they want to support their goalie, who is young and new to the game. They don't want to make him look bad. They don't want to look bad and as if they're depending on him. They probably don't want to depend on him because they don't totally trust him yet.Unfortunately, this lack of trust makes them a better team. When Ds (and forwards) play in front of a seasoned goalie, they tend to abandon him more often. They think he can handle it.
After Price has proven his worth in a few games, the D is not going to be as tight. There will be more mistakes, that's for sure. But it'll also give Price some room to breathe and do his thing. Less screens, less activity in front of the net, less "not his fault" goals.
Just my 2(or 3 or 4 or 5) cents.
Random thought: if they eliminate the penny, will our opinions be worth 5 cents instead of 2?
I think the main reason they were back protecting the slot is that they played 2 games in 2 nights against fast skating teams and they wanted to sit on their lead rather than push. They looked tired by the 2nd period. But your right, they may have been protecting him too. I think they'll play more open tomorrow to see what he can take. He looked confident in the shootout.
Thanks for the comment, but this was posted over two weeks ago. Different situation ;)