Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur began his Stanley Cup playoff career with just four goals in 29 games over three postseasons. So he knows a thing or two about failing to live up to expectations when it matters most.
Maybe that’s why he’s calling out a couple of current Habs.
Lafleur took both Thomas Vanek and Max Pacioretty to task when recently speaking to La Presse about the Canadiens’ recent playoff run. The Hall of Famer accused the team of giving up in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, then turned his attention to Vanek and Pacioretty and their postseason struggles.
“You do not play hockey for good seasons,” he said, according to The Score. “Guys like Vanek and Pacioretty, you cannot keep that in your team. They stay home if they are not willing to pay the price. Your team will never win with players like that that fade when there is adversity.”
Pacioretty registered 5-6-11 totals in 17 playoff games while Vanek had 5-5-10 totals in the postseason. The two combined for 66 regular-season goals, though.
Lafleur did eventually figured things out in his postseason career, as the five-time Stanley Cup winner ended his career with 58 playoff goals and won the Conn Smythe trophy in 1977.
Vanek’s future with the Canadiens is up in the air. He’ll be a free agent this summer and will test the market, although he’s not ruling out a return to Montreal. Pacioretty is signed through the 2018-19 season and carries a $4.5 million salary cap hit.