Canadiens’ Carey Price: ‘I would like to finish the season strong’

Check this out, as Carey Price back practicing with Habs' teammates for the first time since he suffered a concussion on February 20th.

MONTREAL — Carey Price will travel with the Montreal Canadiens to Toronto on Friday but won’t be available for their game against the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

The 30-year-old goaltender, who suffered a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 20, returned to practice Thursday and was back on the ice Friday before meeting with the media for the first time in three weeks.

He said he feels both "good" and "tired."

"Whenever you come back from an injury, it’s all about getting re-conditioned," Price added.

It was in the second period of a 3-2 overtime loss to Philadelphia that Price took a slapshot from Flyers defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere off the side of his head. He doubled over and was attended to by Canadiens trainer Graham Rynbend before shaking it off and completing the game with 30 saves.

"I didn’t feel any symptoms until the next morning so I felt pretty normal right up until I woke up the next day," said Price. "I was a little dazed. I think you could see that by the way I was looking when I got hit that I probably wasn’t really normal, but I felt pretty cognitive and felt pretty aware of what just happened so I decided to continue playing and, like I said, didn’t feel anything until the next day."

When asked if the NHL’s concussion spotters need to do more to protect goaltenders and if they should’ve requested he visit "the quiet room" after he was hit by Gostisbehere’s shot, Price said he thinks it’s difficult for them to assess.

"Even a trip to the quiet room is not going to necessarily prove much," said Price. "Like I said, I felt pretty cognitive and pretty aware and wasn’t feeling any symptoms right off the get-go so I don’t even know if a test at that time would’ve proven anything or not.

"It’s not an easy position to be a spotter. You don’t really know if a guy is seriously hurt unless you see his eyes roll back into his head."

Price, who has a 15-22-6 record, a .904 save percentage and a 2.98 goals-against average this season, said the symptoms that kicked in on Feb. 21 were "a lot more noticeable," than when he last suffered a concussion, back in 2012.

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When asked if shutting things down for the rest of the season was a consideration, Price said that option wasn’t on the table.

"We never had that discussion," Price said. "For me personally, it’s all about, whether we were in the playoffs or not, trying to take care of my head and get back in there."

The Canadiens will have 10 more games to play after Saturday’s game in Toronto. They have gone 4-4-4 in Price’s absence and are currently in 26th place in the NHL standings.

"I would like to finish the season strong obviously and end it on a positive note," said Price. "It’s going to be a long summer of preparation."

Price’s eight-year, $84-million contract kicks in next season.

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