It doesn't always bode well for winning a series when a Canadiens player is quoted in the media beforehand. Especially when it involves goaltending.
Take note, Tomas Plekanec!
Remember this beauty from 1981?
"Guy Lafleur is going to put Wayne Gretzky in his little back pocket!"
That gem of wisdom came from the mindless bravado of former Habs goalie Richard Sevigny, who surely didn't realize that lighting up Gretzky prior to a series wasn't that bright an idea!
The Canadiens went on to score all of three goals in that best of five series, the Edmonton Oilers victimized Sevigny 13 times.
There's lots to learn from history. Opposing teams the target of smartass barbs take them quotes and blow them up over players stalls.
Just prior to the series, Canadiens forward Martin Rucinski confidently stated that Buffalo were just a great goalie and a bunch pf ordinary players.
His assessment may have been right on the mark, but shuting his yap might have been advisable. Those ordinary Sabres, one to a man, were pumped by Rucinski's dart, and swept the Habs in four.
History lesson number three: when you can't ignite one single player, why not motivate the entire team?
Which brings us to the present tense.
Plekanec was caught suggesting that Jose Theodore, the Capitals starter in the series, is no Brodeur or Ryan Miller.
True enough, to a point, but as Carey Price commented yesterday, Theo, like Hasek, has won a Hart Trophy.
Upon hearing Plekanec's assessment, Theo, droll as ever, replied: "Tomas who? Jagr? Oh, Plekanec! I thought you said Jagr."
No word as of yet as to Plekanec's reaction. Maybe it went something like this:
"I cannot believe Paris Hilton, I mean, Jose Theodore, doesn't know who I am!"
Another Habs player came dangerously close yet again. Andrei Markov, on the subject on his friend Ovechkin stated yesterday that his good buddy worries him, as he's sure to be both angry and motivated that he has not won any awards this year. Ovechkin, who just missed out on the Rocket Richard and Art Ross trophies, will be even more inclined to want a Stanley even more.
Doubtful that the Russian sniper needs the added motivation, but good on Markov being somewhat careful in his remarks.
Players are always out to prove the big quote wrong. To that end, I'd rather have heard Markov say, "My buddy Ovie, he can't drink. Not even Russian vodka. He won't be hitting the clubs in Montreal for sure. Ten shots and he's toast!"
Bottom line is, you just can't win by singling out an opponent this time of year. It's almost guanteed to come back and burn you. Plekanec will learn, as did Sevigny and Rucinski.