Plekanec ready to revv up
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 6:49PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 16, 2013 7:07PM EST
MONTREAL - Last season Tomas Plekanec was not quite the high-flying Hab that fans had come to love.
The Czech Centre, known for his trademark turtleneck, saw his numbers drop last season as he juggled linemates.
“There was no stability to his linemates, due to his injuries team had to face last year,” said Montreal Canadiens’ coach Michel Therrien. “But he's a guy who can do a lot of things on the ice. He’s a real smart player. He plays against top players. I really appreciate that type of player and he's going to have a crucial role for us.”
Plekanec came to camp this season with some banged up ribs and is only not hitting his pre-season stride.
His injury was not the result of a bodycheck, however.
“It just a pass of the puck and I felt a weird thing in my body. That's wasn't any hit. It was just bad luck kind of in the movement,” said Plekanec.
Plekanec is slated to play Saturday night, likely alongside Captain Brian Gionta and 18-year-old Alex Galchenyuk.
It remains whether Galchenyuk, the third-overall draft pick last spring, will remain with the club beyond five games but Plekanec has already made his assessment.
“He's a skilled player. He can do pretty much anything. Let's see how he reacts in a system way in a team structure way. But he's a great player,” said Plekanec.
Plekanec practiced this morning on the first power play unit with Galchenyuk and Cole with Kaberle and Markov on the points.
Kaberle said that the aim was to create strategies that would allow them to get shots through from the blue line.
“We can each be on each side,” said Kaberle. “We can work it out. There are some options. We don't care if we are on the left or right side, the main thing is to get some shots on net. Sometimes it's ugly, and you need some ugly goals to win some hockey games.”