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Best friends forever?

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL - Anyone wondering how Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta would get along now have their answer.

With different homelands and similar marks on the growth chart, Gionta and Plekanec looked every bit like a couple of guys who might get each other pretty well this season.
“What can you say? He’s a really smart player with tremendous speed,” said Gionta in his assessment of his Czech centerman. “Things got better as the game went on, but we can’t forget that’s only one game and it takes a little time to get used to one another. It will only get better.”
Plekanec is also trying not to get too ahead of himself as he looks to return to his old dominant form of 2007-08 with Gionta possibly by his side.
“It may only be preseason, but everybody wants to work hard and get that done. It was nice for us to get that first goal right away,” admitted Plekanec of the game’s deciding goal with under five minutes to play. “Cammy and Gomez both scored in their first game and it really felt great to get that out of my way for our line.”
The man who matched both Gionta and Plekanec liked the early dividends paid by his speedy duo that produced Montreal’s game-winner to improve the new Habs coach to a perfect 2-0 preseason mark.
“There was some definite chemistry between them,” assessed Martin. “It’s early, but I really liked what I saw out there. Tomas made a set-up for Gionta, who scored a big goal for us tonight.”
Gionta’s winning goal aside, Martin knows that his veteran winger’s contributions to the Habs don’t end with the scoresheet on any given night.
“This is a consummate professional with great leadership qualities who leads by example,” gushed Martin. “Brian doesn’t have to say much to have an impact on this team.”
Notching the winning goal every now and then won’t hurt his stock, either.
Manny Almela is a writer for

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