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Tomas Plekanec backs up big words with OT winner

Tomas Plekanec

Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec of the Czech Republic celebrates his power-play goal against the Washington Capitals during the first period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey playoffs, Thursday, April 15, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)


“Tomas who? Jagr?” [Jose] Theodore said, referring to five-time scoring champion Jaromir Jagr, Plekanec’s Olympic teammate with the Czech Republic. “Oh, Plekanec, okay. I thought you meant Jagr.” (from the Washington Post)

Journalism professors discourage you from using “quote leads” but being that I’m writing this in my underwear, I think that I’ve broken most of the rules anyway.

Tomas Plekanec lives by one rule, it seems, though: “If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk.” The soon-to-be-unrestricted free agent put his money where his mouth is, scoring a beautiful overtime game winning goal thanks in part to some loose defense by the Washington Capitals. You may remember that Plekanec talked some trash about Jose Theodore (at least in relation to Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak), so I obviously said that the player better produce. And, obviously, he did ... big time.

As much credit as Plekanec deserves, the gold star belongs to the goalie he pumped up, Halak. The restricted-free-agent-to-be took his first steps toward a huge payday by making 45 saves to help Montreal upset Washington 3-2 in overtime.

People are going to slam the Capitals for the loss, but it’s only one game and the Habs really put together a scrappy effort. Sure, Mike Green had some low moments, but he also blocked 8 shots. Obviously going down 1-0 isn’t good, but Capitals fans can be heartened by the fact that their supporting cast nearly won them the game despite the fact that the team’s stars struggled. For instance: both Eric Fehr and Mike Knuble put up 7 shots and role players came up with plenty of chances.

So, yes, the Capitals can do better, but it’s not all bad news. Again, it’s just one game. One very surprising game, but still, it’s just 1-0.

More on Alex Ovechkin and the Canadiens-Capitals series tomorrow ...