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2021 Series: Carey Price’s speech changed everything (according to Jesperi Kotkaniemi)
When the Canadiens were trailing the Leafs 3-1 in 2021, Corey Perry and Eric Staal took to the floor in the CH dressing room to talk about their respective experiences as Stanley Cup champions. The two veterans, who played over 1,000 games in the NHL, were able to testify to what it takes for a team to go far, and to impress upon their younger teammates that anything is still possible.

This speech waswidely publicized, after the Habs had closed the deficit to win the series, advance to the second round and eventually reach the Stanley Cup Final. Perry and Staal, accompanied by Shea Weber, had spoken before Game #5, which turned out to be the team’s first of eight consecutive wins.

But it was the Canadiens’ goaltender’s words that changed the course of the series, as Jesperi Kotkaniemi recalls.

In an interview on the 32 Thoughts podcast, KK was asked to discuss his fondest memory of #31, which came in the middle of a game as the Tricolore trailed Toronto 3-1.

“He’s really quiet. Normally he doesn’t say anything, but at a certain point he stands up [during a Game 5 intermission] and he says guys, we’ve got to change something. He didn’t snap, but he raised his voice, and everyone listened. […] I think that was the turning point for us.”

According to the former Canadien, the speech was essentially intended to emphasize the privilege of playing in the playoffs, and to remind the youngsters that the veterans weren’t getting any younger, and by necessity, that this might be their last chance.

As it turned out, Weber never returned to action and Price only managed to play five games the following season.

An interesting twist on a defining moment in modern Canadian history!

In a gust

– The Big Three ‘s situation is crucial to who replaces Kyle Dubas.

– Coming up.

– The former Raptors coach finds a job.

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