In case you missed it, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will miss the remainder of the Eastern Conference Finals due to a lower-body injury. With the Chicago Blackhawks still alive, and now up 1-0, the injury does have small implications on the team. If the Canadiens backup Peter Budaj (Pronounced Boo-Die) doesn’t play better than he did in the team’s demoralizing beat down on Saturday, the Western Conference Champion will almost undoubtedly be facing the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Budaj just is not a proven goaltender, and it will show throughout this series. The Rangers and their star players like Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis should be able to obliterate the Canadiens’ defense and make Budaj look like an AHL goalie.
The Blackhawks will still need to get past the Los Angeles Kings, but if they do it appears we will be looking at a Blackhawks-Rangers Stanley Cup. Unless the Canadiens can somehow rally around their backup, this Eastern Conference Finals could be a sweep, or at least over very quickly. This would hurt the eventual Western Conference Champion, due to the amount of rest the Rangers would get.
Price’s injury doesn’t have an immediate impact on any of the Hawks, but his presence could be greatly missed by the Habs, who now need luck, and maybe even a miracle to beat the Rangers. Either way, it will change the Stanley Cup Finals, and assuming the Hawks get there, could drastically impact the results of that series as well. Here’s hoping well to Price in his recovery, and his team in trying to get over his absence.