After a 2008-2009 season during which his offensive production (20 goals and 19 assists for 39 points in 80 games) was mediocre at best, Tomas Plekanec has found a renewed passion and his old offensive flair this season.
After 11 games, he already has recorded two goals and eight assists for 10 points, despite playing with several different wingers: Andrei Kostitsyn, Matt D’Agostini, Max Pacioretty, Guillaume Latendresse, Maxim Lapierre, etc.
We all remember the 2007-08 season when Plekanec played on a line with A. Kost and Alex Kovalev, leading the Habs to the regular season conference title.
Plekanec notched 29 goals and 40 assists for 69 points in 81 games that season, a 22 points increase over the 2006-07 season.
Jacques Martin is showing a lot of confidence in Plekanec this season, using him on the power play as well as the penalty kill.
Over the first 11 games, Plekanec has played around 19:41 minutes per game, with a season-high 23 minutes against Atlanta last week. His +4 rating ranks him second on the team in the +/- category.
Compared to last season, Plekanec is not afraid to drive the net with grit and keeps the puck longer instead of giving it away to the opponent.
On yesterday’s overtime goal against the Islanders, Plek took the puck deep in his own zone and skated the length of the ice, deking John Tavares and Mark Streit before dishing a spectacular saucer pass on a 2-on-1 to Roman Hamrlik who roofed the puck past Martin Biron.
The talented Czech is playing with confidence despite having to play with different players every night, and even almost every shift, as his usual linemates Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn are respectively struggling a lot and playing in the AHL.
The Canadiens desperately need secondary scoring from their second and third lines to thrive in their quest for a playoffs spot, and Plekanec is an integral part of their success.
Do you think Plekanec will maintain his near-1 PPG ratio during the whole season?