The former Hab joined Tony Marinaro to discuss the Montreal Canadiens.
This week on the Sick Podcast, Tony Marinaro was joined by Habs legend Tomas Plekanec, who played almost all of his career in a Canadiens jersey. Plekanec discussed his playoff run with the Habs in 2014, which saw Montreal make it to the conference finals. They eventually lost to the New York Rangers in six games. That series featured one of the biggest playoff controversies of the last ten years, when Rangers forward Chris Kreider slid into Carey Price while on a breakaway. Price was sidelined for the rest of the series, and the Rangers advanced. Many fans still question whether or not this was intentional, and believe that had Price not been injured, the series outcome would have been different.
“I still believed in our team,” said Plekanec when asked about Price’s injury. “Was it the key to us not making it? I don’t know. But it was a great experience and a great run.”
With the success of this year’s team, many people have drawn comparisons to the 2014 Habs club. Although these comparisons are justified, Plekanec believes that there is a key difference that sets the two teams apart. “The Canadiens have such great depth. They have a big lineup.” Said Plekanec. “I think we missed that. We were a good hockey team, we had a good run, but the depth that they have right now is really great.”
Another great playoff run that Plekanec was a part of was in 2010, where the Habs, who were last in their conference to make the playoffs, had to play the first-place Washington Capitals. With all the odds against them, and being down 3-1 going into game 5, the Canadiens ended up winning the series. That moment bared a striking resemblance to this year’s series against Toronto, with Montreal being the last-place team in the playoffs, having all the odds against them, and being down 3-1 in the series heading into game 5. Montreal, just like in 2010, pulled an upset and won the series in seven games.
“You never want to be down 3-1, but it’s still something you could come back from. As I mentioned before, I really like the lineup that Mark Bergevin put out there, so it didn’t really surprise me that much,” said Plekanec when discussing Montreal’s upset against Toronto.
A big concern that players have when coming to Montreal is the pressure that they face. When asked about the pressure of playing in Montreal, Plekanec had this to say. “I think it’s as hard as you make it on yourself as a player. If you are on social media, and you read what people are saying, then it’s hard. There are just too many opinions. If you don’t, however, and just zoom it out, it’s the greatest place to play hockey. Personally, I loved it.”
Plekanec ended his NHL career with 608 points in 1,001 games. He is currently playing hockey in the Czech Republic.