WASHINGTON – The feud is far from over, but Tomas Plekanec
won the first round by knockout.
After stealing headlines with his war of words with former teammate Jose Theodore by saying the Habs held an edge in goal in this series, Plekanec found another way to be the talk of town. Bulletin board quote machine turned overtime hero, Plekanec beat Theodore for the game-winning goal to put the Canadiens up 1-0 in the series.
“Jaroslav Spacek made a nice play to get the puck out of our zone and create that 2-on-2 opportunity,” said head coach Jacques Martin. “Tomas made an excellent play to gain some space and he made the most of it.”
Any microphones that weren’t in Plekanec’s face after the game were awaiting Theodore across the hall. Only days removed from mockingly comparing Plekanec to former NHL superstar and fellow Czech Jaromir Jagr, Theodore could only look on as his ex-teammate did a bang-on impression of No. 68.
One-by-one, Ovechkin and Co. faced the music following their stunning opening loss to the underdog Habs. The longer it took for Theodore to take his turn before the cameras, the media throng only grew in size. When he finally shuffled his way to his stall, he was engulfed by a horde that likely brought him back to his days in Montreal.
“Tomas is a skill player who got a good shot off there,” shrugged Theodore. “You’ve got to give him credit.
“I played with Pleky and I know how good a player he is,” admitted the former All-Star before addressing his highly publicized feud with Plekanec. “That was all in good fun and to get things stirred up a little for you guys.”
While the Canadiens basked in the glow of their statement game to begin this series, Theodore couldn’t turn the page fast enough.
“Come playoff time, you have no choice but to move on and quickly regroup,” suggested Theodore. “We can think about this first game for maybe 15-20 minutes and that’s it. We have to be already thinking about Game 2.”
Following his Jagr-esque performance, Plekanec wasn’t as ready to move on to the next order of business quite yet.
“It doesn’t matter who scored the winner here tonight. The important thing is to steal this first game the way we did,” said Plekanec, before taking another jab at Theo’s Jagr dis. “I was especially happy to see the No. 68 make it onto the scoresheet tonight.”
Once the media was done over-chuckling at Plekanec’s latest zinger, the Habs' regular-season scoring leader sent another message.
“I still don’t think my comments were disrespectful towards Theo,” concluded Plekanec. “I had a clear mind before the game, and it got even more clear after I scored that goal.”Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
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Camalleri, Spacek and Plekanec
Halak save with extra replays 1
Halak save with extra replays 2