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)