Unsurprisingly, the bitter feelings linger for the Boston Bruins after the Montreal Canadiens ended their season in the second round of the playoffs.
There were insults, threats and the Montreal players decrying a real lack of respect from the Boston side of the ice, and that kind of snarl lives on at least from the Bruins’ end of things.
Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec isn’t very well-liked or well-respected within the B’s dressing room, and a national hockey audience got a taste of why when he repeatedly snapped his head back in embellishment during phantom high stick encounters against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The blatant play-acting even spawned the hash tag #Plekanecing on twitter where fans snapped selfies in mock pain and head-snapping embellishment.
During the 2014 Phoenix House Champs for Change dinner in Halifax, Marchand was asked by AHL President Dave Andrews during a panel discussion which NHL player irritates him the most. Surely it’s a long list with an agitator like Marchand, but there wasn’t much hesitation in his answer.
“There are a few guys out there that really irritate,” said Marchand, who it should be noted has authored his own adventures in embellishment over the years. “Tomas Plekanec from Montreal…I hate him. I can’t stand him. No, I probably shouldn’t say that. I dislike him very much. Now somebody is going to call and get mad at me tomorrow.”
It sounds like Marchand has received a few calls to the Black and Gold principal’s office over the years.
That’s no surprise either.
It’s not a secret that fellow Czech center David Krejci isn’t a fan of some of Plekanec’s methods when the two players get matched up in the Bruins/Habs encounters. It should be noted that Plekanec has enjoyed the upper hand in the head-to-head battle between the two talented pivots, and once again frustrated Boston’s No. 1 center last spring with his high effort two-way play and borderline stick-work.
The one positive about all of this: the Bruins are clearly still livid about how they lost last spring, and who they lost to in the hated Habs. Marchand and the Bruins play a much more effective brand of hockey when there’s anger and upset, and perhaps even a bit of good, old-fashioned hate.