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Man on Fire

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
QUEBEC – With the performance he gave Saturday night, Tomas Plekanec made yet another statement to critics who claimed the forward might lose his edge after signing a six-year contract with the Habs over the summer.

If the preseason will serve as any indicator of what’s to come when points are at stake in the regular season, count on No.14 to light the lamp more than ever before in 2010-11. In the final game of the preseason at Quebec’s Pepsi Coliseum, Plekanec had another two goal game, and also added a pair of assists before the final siren sounded to mark the end of the Habs’ 7-2 victory.

“As far as points, this has definitely been my best preseason so far. I try to come out stronger with every new year. I’m feeling good – strong both mentally and physically – and I’m ready for the regular season,” said Plekanec at the end of a night that shot him to the top of the NHL’s preseason scoring ladder with a total of 9 points.

Some have already began to suggest that Plekanec should make sure to not waste all his energy racking up numbers in the preseason, at risk of leaving nothing for the campaign ahead.

“There’s not much to say. Scoring in the preseason isn’t going to stop me from scoring when it matters,” shot back Plekanec. “Of course people are going to say stuff like that, and of course you don’t want to be on fire before the regular season, but on the other hand, it’s sure helping me get ready.”

Naturally, having an unusually small number of NHL calibre players in the Islanders lineup helped to set the table for an offensive clinic from the Habs, but regardless, the night’s top scorer still felt the victory was well earned.
“I wouldn’t say it was a gimme. They worked really hard tonight. They have some very talented young guys that were out there looking to make an impression on the coaches. We scored a couple of quality goals right out of the gate and we were able to carry through with that momentum,” explained Plekanec, noting that the key to success was a good work ethic from his own bench. “It wasn’t like anybody in our room thought we had a better team than them and we wouldn’t have to come to play. We just concentrated on our game and how we wanted to play for the whole 60 minutes.”

Now, all that’s left is to hope that Plekanec can keep his streak alive when the puck drops at the Air Canada Center for the regular season on Oct.7.

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Translated by Justin Fragapane.

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