MONTREAL - What a difference a year makes. Case in point – Tomas Plekanec
After a 2008-09 season that fell short of expectations, during which his offensive output dropped by 30 points over the previous campaign, and even placed Plekanec on the press gallery for a playoff game he rolled up his sleeves and went to work this year. Sitting atop the Canadiens scoring list since the schedule opened, the 27-year-old center is also among the NHL’s best playmakers.
A consistent and reliable presence for his new head coach in 2009-10, the Kladno, Czech Republic, native’s numbers went through the roof in December, his record showing a harvest of four goals and 17 assists. Only one other Canadiens player in the past decade has managed to register 20 points in the same calendar month, and Plekanec had more than a little to do with that accomplishment. In February, 2008, while centering Alex Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn, he had the best seat in the house as the Habs former #27 put 21 points on the board, seven of them goals.
Failing that, we have to climb into the way back machine and set the dial for November, 1997, to relive the last time a member of the Montreal Canadiens hit those heights. While Bobby Clarke was pondering the composition of Team Canada heading into the Nagano Olympics, the first to feature NHL players, Shayne Corson made the most of his month. The former Habs power forward, who also wore #27, earned enough highlight reel exposure with his eight goals and 12 assists to make the team.
Corson had to settle for a fourth place finish in Olympic competition as the Czech Republic wound up on the top step of the podium. Should history repeat itself in the next little while Plekanec would certainly not come away disappointed.Alexandre Harvey is a writer for canadiens.com.See alsoGet to know your CanadiensMy Playlist: Paul Mara