Size isn’t a problem with Habs, Plekanec says

Do the Canadiens need to get bigger?

That’s a question Tomas Plekanec has heard many times while a member of the Canadiens.

“Every year? For the last 10 years?” he replied with a grin Saturday when asked how often he has heard that question while clearing out his locker in Brossard.

“I think our team identity is quickness and speed,” Plekanec continued. “When we play that game, we are successful. I don’t think it has anything to do with size. We have guys with size, who play like it. …

“I think somebody once said we were missing size and all of a sudden everybody started to think, ‘That’s it.’ I don’t think so. My opinion is we’re a good, quick team.

“Everyone says how tough Boston is, but we were down by two goals in the third period in their building this season and we came back. They’re tough and we’re not supposed to be. But we showed a lot of character.”

Plekanec said it was timing more than talent that was the Canadiens’ playoff undoing.

“What we missed was having the most players possible at their best at the right time,” he said. “To have your goalie being hot, your defence playing tight and your forwards scoring a lot of goals.

“You don’t need to score a lot of goals, but you need to score at the right time,” he told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs. “It seems like we didn’t have that. … We’ve had injuries the last couple years (so) it’s easy to kind of pinpoint that we need size and toughness. But I think we have that.

“Maybe we actually need more scoring.”

Speaking of scoring, Plekanec assisted on all three first-period goals Tuesday as the Czech Republic beat Norway 7-0 at the World Hockey Championship in Stockholm. The victory put the Czechs in the quarterfinals against Switzerland on Thursday and eliminated Norway. Plekanec was playing his first game of the tournament after the Canadiens were eliminated.

P.K. Subban will make his debut with Team Canada in Thursday’s quarterfinal game against Sweden.

 (Photo by Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Plekanec says size not a problem, by Dave Stubbs

Bergevin wants big, fast, young team, by Pat Hickey

Bergevin a finalist for top NHL GM, by Pat Hickey

Quatable: Bergevin holds court, montrealgazette.com

Bergevin’s greatest moves, canadiens.com

Subban added to Team Canada roster

Habs could use another Sergio Momesso, by Stu Cowan

Round 2 playoff schedule, NHL.com

Four Original Six teams still in playoffs, montrealgazette.com

Leafs’ post-mortem will wait until pain subsides, montrealgazette.com

Aislin weighs in on Leafs loss with cartoon

Boogaard lawsuit shows culture of hockey goons, montrealgazette.com

1,030 Comments

  1. deen says:

    Overall I am very pleased with the Habs this season. However, changes need to be made and I would look to move :

    Michael Ryder (too slow)
    Tomas Plekanec (not a money player)
    David Desharnais (too small and weak)
    Brian Gionta (too small and injury prone)
    Raphael Diaz (too small and weak)
    Josh Gorges??? (one more season to evaluate)
    Travis Moen (too humdrum and playing through the salary)
    Tomas Kaberle (too soft)
    Yannick Weber (too weak)

    Build on:

    Max Pacioretty
    P.K. Subban
    Lars Eller
    Brendan Gallagher
    Alex Galchenyuk
    Alexei Emelin
    Jarred Tinordi
    Nathan Beaulieu
    Carey Price

  2. NCRhabsfan says:

    “Every year? For the last 10 years?” he replied with a grin Saturday when asked how often he has heard that question while clearing out his locker in Brossard.

    How many Stanley Cups have you won in those 10 years Pleks? Stop grinning. Champions grin, losers keep a straight face. You’re a loser so far. Of course the Habs need to get bigger. I get it that you can’t throw team-mates like Gionta, DD, Weber and Diaz under the bus, but I hope you’re not serious. The Habs don’t need goons, they need some big robust players that cannot be easily intimidated and have some hockey skills.

    That’s a tough order for MB, those players don’t grow on trees, but here’s hoping MB is blowing off Pleks’ dumb comments.

    • habitual says:

      Do you sell hot dogs for a living? You aren’t in the league, you aren’t in the buisness. The closest you get to the game is when you buy tickets. Get off of Pleks’ case. He is a quality guy who works hard and year out and delivers, and if he is to receive criticism it isn’t from some internet blowhard. Which, being clearly slow on the uptake as you are, is you.

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        Dude, chill. I suspect you’re the hot dog vendor. I didn’t criticize the way he plays, I criticized his complacent, dumb statement. You don’t get to blow off a legitimate question with a comment like, “everyone has been asking that question for 10 years” when for 10 years they haven’t won anything. And since you didn’t have a single intelligent thought to add to the conversation, you may want to slow down on the “slow on the uptake” comments.

  3. Frank2468 says:

    With Pleks saying size isn’t a problem, isn’t that something that is said every year? It gets boring after awhile. I guess if he admitted to it, it could get him in trouble with management. Just hope M.B does something to correct the problem. We all know it’s something that can’t be corrected over night, but at least add a little more size over the summer and start addressing the issue. It could take 2 or 3 seasons to beef up the team.

  4. johnnylarue says:

    I watched the last half of the Pens/Sens game last night.

    I’m beginning to feel like it might be time to revisit the concept of referees “putting their whistles away” and “letting them play” come playoff time.

    Suffice to say, NO team could be said to be built for the playoffs if every game is played that way. It’s insane. Interference all over the place, slashing, cross-checks to the face, copious instances of charging and boarding: no calls.

    So, why even bother adhering to the so-called rules during the regular season if the playoffs are clearly an entirely different “sport” altogether? As it stands, the two main criteria for success would be a) an ability to deliver “statement-making” injuries to opposing players, and b) an ability to play hockey while injured or concussed. Goal-scoring and play-making abilities are recommended, but not required.

    “Our Game” is messed up mightily.

    • HaBo says:

      I never saw the game but who needs to. It’s part of the
      same old reff’ing issue in the nhl: there’s no consistencey
      whatsoever! It’s controlled by the gm’s and the league….
      NOT according to the rulebook.

      The majority of gm’s want old school, anything goes ref’g while the league wants to
      create certain matchups to help tv ratings and thus have better
      US exposure and ad revenue.

      This reduces the best team sport on earth to the product we
      see every year: thuggery on ice, no holds barred.
      Aka, the National Headhunting League. Sad but true.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Officiating in the NHL is the league’s number 1 problem. It starts in the head office where a retarded monkey would be the smartest guy in the room.

  5. RetroMikey says:

    Of all the teams left in the playoffs, you have big players with grit and a physical edge to them.
    The weakest in my opinion would be Detroit.
    Even if we faced them, we still would be mauled by the Red Wings or any team in the west, even eliminated teams like St. Louis.
    As for sister Plekanec, put up or shut up I say.
    Would like to see the guy traed for a good qyuality big character player.
    Yes it can be done if Bergevin plays his cards right.
    Let’s finally be serious with this club and not sit back when it coes to major trades as we have done in the past.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  6. Hobie Hansen says:

    Stu Cowan: Canadiens need to get bigger and tougher if they want to win their first Stanley Cup since 1993. They could use a few more big forwards like former Hab Sergio Momesso, who is now the team’s colour commentator on TSN Radio 690.

    The Habs could also use another enforcer like Chris Nilan, who could drop the gloves and also play hockey.

    **Keep up the good work Stu.

    ****************
    “It’s frightening to contemplate how this undersized team would fare in a seven-game series against St. Louis, L.A. or Chicago..”

    –Mike Boone

  7. myron.selby says:

    @Chris – when you say that Koivu was a good hockey player I think you’re losing sight of something (and I’ve mentioned this before). In any discussion of Koivu there has to be a giant asterisk inserted. There is the pre-knee injury Koivu and the post-injury Koivu – two totally different players.

    The game Koivu hurt his knee, he had moved into a tie for first in the scoring race with Selanne (I know because I had him in my draft). I think he was averaging about 1.4 points/game. Afterwards he never came close to these numbers. The problem was that he lost some of his speed and mobility.

    He was a brilliant player but a huge part of his game was built around his skating and once that deteriorated he was no longer capable of doing things at that level. Without that knee problem he’s a top 10 scorer throughout his prime.

    • Chris says:

      I doubt that he is a top-10 scorer simply because he did not have the help in later years. The knee injury was devastating, but Koivu was first and foremost a playmaker.

      The Montreal Canadiens of the early 2000′s had no natural goal-scorers. No matter how good a playmaker you are, you can’t get into the top-10 in league scoring toiling alongside Richard Zednik and Martin Rucinsky.

      In the end, I’m not sure the knee injury played too much of a role in limiting his mobility. What it did do was hurt his development when he could have been piling up points when the times were good. By the time he was fully recovered, the NHL was heading strongly into the dead-puck era. And he got cancer.

      By the time he was fully recovered from that, the dead-puck era was fully in effect and then came the lockout.

      Koivu lost a lot of games in the prime of his career, and he played that prime in the lowest scoring era since the 1960′s. His 800 points in 1000 games probably maps out closer to 1100 points in the 1980′s, or 1000 points in the 1990′s. He’s essentially Bobby Smith, but more injury prone.

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    A pretty scathing report on the Capitals from their local media. Maybe the honeymoon for McPhee with Leonsis will end sooner than later.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/capitals/washington-capitals-playoff-exit-a-tradition-thats-getting-old/2013/05/14/cfb91b26-bcbc-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_story.html

  9. Bill says:

    WJC: more importantly, if he states the obvious and says the Habs need bigger guys, he is basically saying he wants some of his mates gone. Who would expect a player to say that?? Like you, I don’t understand the reaction to his comments.

  10. Bill says:

    Luke: White got five, Gryba got two, Nash got Zero … so there is basically no predicting what if anything Shanahan will do with this one. Which is the whole problem. No one knows what’s allowed and what’s not.

  11. Luke says:

    So, that Torres hit… same/very very similar) hit that saw White get 5 for.
    Add in Torres’ history. And the big ol’ (uncalled) charge earlier in the game…
    I’m guessing 0 games?

    • wjc says:

      It was shoulder to shoulder, slow motion replay showed that. Last time I looked body contact was legal. Shoulder to shoulder is legal. It they out law hitting, will you still watch.

      White threw an obvious elbow at the guys head. That was not an attempted body check. Elbows to the head illegal…..shoulder to shoulder still allowed.

      wjc

  12. commandant says:

    I’ve got Eric Comrie, goalie with Tri-City at 35.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/05/15/eric-comrie-2013-nhl-draft-player-profile-35/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  13. wjc says:

    You see how it works around here. Plekanec says, they need more size.

    Certain posters say, he must realize he is no longer necessary on team.

    If Plekanec says, there size is fine, they say…what is he blind?

    If Plekanec says “no comment” they say he is being evasive, gutless, not facing reality.

    If Plecanec sneaks out the back door, he is not taking responsibility.

    You see there is no answer that can’t be picked apart.

    Just the nature of the social media beast I guess.

    wjc

  14. What enjoyable day I experience yesterday at work. Oh my God!! There’s more smiles at a wake than there are here in the workplace this morning. LOL. Not a word being spoken at all.

    I was the only Habs fan in the building and many of them if not most where leafs fans. I went on proudly about my work day and was checking in now and then to see how my co-workers where making out. It was a sad bunch to be around that day for sure!!

    I wore my Habs jersey that day to see if I could get a reaction and all I could see was Leafs stuff being stowed away from others not to know that they are Leafs fans. What a great day I had. It feels good to know sore losers when I see one. LMAO.

    Go Habs Go

    • wjc says:

      You enjoyed their misery, how commendable. Then you wonder why they stick it to you every chance they get.

      Class begets class, so your turn comes eventually….Karma.

      wjc

  15. Timo says:

    Therrien still the coach? Yes? Sigh.

    • Cal says:

      When are you submitting your CV for an upper Habs management position?

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      Timo still here? Yes? Sigh.

      Dat’s wha me tinks

    • wjc says:

      Nice try….stir…stir….stir….no coach will ever be good enough, no coach will ever be worthy.

      You use punctuation and good grammar , so you are not an average poster, you are literate. Wonder who you are???

      wjc

      • Timo says:

        Why, not true. A coach that wins a cup will quite suffice, thank you very much.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think you got a fan there Timo! :)

        • wjc says:

          Winning a cup is not easy my friend. It took L.A. nine years to build the team they have. It took Chicago quite a few years to build the team they have. Islanders, Leafs, and Oilers are other teams looking and taking time to build a team that can challenge.

          Only one (ONE) team can win in a year. You want to blame 29 coaches when the goal is not met. You want to blame 29 G.M’s when goal is not met. You have salary caps and draft order, and hoping the player you draft works out, no guarantees.

          Edmonton will be a powerhouse if give enough time to complete the job. They will also find out that in time they will not be able to keep all the high priced players because of the salary cap so building from the draft will be harder as they move up the standings.

          You have to build within. It is not easy to say get bigger, and get better but it takes time. Canadiens are on the fast track to accomplish this and blaming the coach is not the answer.

          Therien proved himself, but size was a factor as well as injuries. Have you ever coached at any level, if you had you would realize that some things are beyond your control. One team and only one team can win in any given year. Some of the teams are ahead of Montreal at this stage, but the salary cap could undo their hard work.

          Build within….free agents usually to expensive, trades are hard to pull off. Stay the course and realize it takes time.

          wjc

          • HabinBurlington says:

            That is a good post.

          • Timo says:

            The problem with the Habs that they have been building from within and from without and with UFAs and with home grown talent and they are no closer to getting even within sniff for the cup since 1993. That’s 20 years. And my fear is that after another 20 years it will be same thing again. And you will be saying the same thing again. I want the bright future everyone’s talking about to arrive now. I think I’ve waited long enough.

    • The Dude says:

      Next Season will be Therrien’s last and will pressure MB the season after to trade assets to try and get what is needed ,in order to save his job.Sound familiar?

      • Timo says:

        Hmm… lemme think. Bob Gainey 5 years ago?! Did I get it right? :)

      • wjc says:

        Therien, will be around for awhile, he has proven this year that he is the right coach for the right team (Canadiens).

        Why do you want to run him out of town? Why are you living in the past? What other team do you admire? Did they have success over night?

        Sure tear it all down and start again, and then attack the next coach and G.M. I know people like yourself never accept common sense and reason, just blame, blame, blame. How is any of this any fun?

        You cheer for a team and deep inside hope they fail, expect they will fail and then pretend the next management will have some secret answer that is not being tried.

        wjc

        • The Dude says:

          wjc, stop blaming fans when management won’t change the dynamics of the Habs thus causing another tire blowout on the Canadiens bus. It’s like you haven’t seen the team for the last 20 years man…wake up! We all know REALLY all the problems cause it’s our team and the sooner the G.M. and Coach as well the Molsons ,’GET A GRIP’ and put their ego’s away ..the better ! Look at the size of teams like the Rangers ‘HUGE’ and it’s them -not The Habs that a going onto round 2. So what the Habs have beat them in regular season and had more points, cause going into round 2 they are looking Huge,Talented,Healthy and Hungry…not to mention what a Goaltender!


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