Looking ahead: Tomas Plekanec
Designated as a defensive forward when he broke into the NHL, Plekanec once again proved to be an offensive threat in 2008-09. With Alex Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn on his wings, the Czech forward made it quite clear that his 2006-07 second-half success was far from a fluke.
Since then, the soon-to-be 26-year-old pivot has been a regular fixture on the score sheet, finishing the 2007-08 campaign with 69 points, second only to Kovalev. His breakthrough year led to offensive personal bests across the board for a third straight season. With Guy Carbonneau expected to keep the threesome together again this year, the stars are aligned for Plekanec to continue his statistical progression.
While nothing beats the thrill of playing before the home crowd, no road demons could catch up with Plekanec. A true warrior away from the Bell Centre, Plekanec notched 42 of his points on opposing ice, ranking him 10th in the NHL in that category.
Good health has helped Plekanec achieve success, as he’s missed just two games over the last two seasons. Should that durability continue, he’ll hit a pair of milestones in his fourth full NHL campaign, with his 300th game and 200 career points.
If last season was any indication, he could be reaching those marks in front of someone else’s fans.
Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com