Habs' Price earning rave reviews

Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price makes a save on  New Jersey Devils Jason Arnott.  (REUTERS/Shaun...

Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price makes a save on New Jersey Devils Jason Arnott. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:12 PM ET

MONTREAL - Canadiens goalie Carey Price still hasn't made fans forget last season's playoff hero, Jaroslav Halak, but the 23-year-old B.C. native is at least headed in that direction.

Price's strong start to the 2010-2011 campaign has silenced critics - for now - following two difficult seasons in Montreal.

Entering Wednesday night's game against the New York Rangers, Price had a 2.23 GAA and a .918 save percentage while sharing the NHL lead for wins (5) with four other goalies.

His teammates have noticed the new Price, who has started all nine games the Canadiens have played this season.

"To date, he's been excellent," defenceman Roman Hamrlirk said. "He was probably the best player in every game. It gives the team confidence when you know the goalie will stop the pucks."

Price said he's not tired and is in no hurry to hand the crease over to backup goalie Alex Auld.

"I want to continue this momentum," Price said. "I still have fuel in the tank."

Habs coach Jacques Martin also credited his team's strong defensive corps for helping Price get off to a successful start to the year.

"Since the start of the season, there was only one match where they gave the opponents more than 12 chances to score," he said. "It shows just how much the team has grown compared to last year - we're on the same wavelength."

Official ratify deal

The NHL and its officials have ratified the new collective bargaining agreement they previously agreed upon Oct. 4.

The NHL's board of directors and the NHL Officials' Association puts its stamp of approval on the four-year deal which runs through the 2013-14 season.

"We are pleased to have reached a new agreement with our officials," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with our officials to ensure that the quality of our game continues to be the best that it can be."

"NHL officials are the best in the world and will continue to bring their dedication to ensuring a quality on-ice product," the executive director of the NHL Officials' Association Harry Radomski said in a statement. "These negotiations have been reflective of the relationship between the NHLOA and NHL which is characterized by a mutual desire for what is best for the game."


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