Tomas Plekanec is a Montreal Canadien through and through, even with that bizarre stint in Toronto where he was forced to shave his goatee and pull on a Maple Leafs sweater. So when he came back to his original team this off-season with just two games to go until he hit 1000 played in the NHL, it all made sense.
His 1000th game was going to be a great night regardless of how it went. Plekanec was always going to get the adoration from the Bell Centre faithful that he fully deserved. He played well above his paygrade for so long; a top-line centre who drove Sidney Crosby utterly insane, and named one of Brad Marchand’s most hated opponents. He had a long stretch of consecutive 20-goal seasons, and regardless of how many players came and went, there was always the stoic Czech in his turtleneck.
To make the night even more special, he scored a goal, and scored it in true Tomas Plekanec fashion.
A bank shot off a defender, after putting the moves on the Red Wings netminder is a perfect way to score a goal on a night like this. It wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t an overtime winner, hell it wasn’t even a game-winner.
It was just a vintage Plekanec goal.
For a guy who has been in the organization for all but a minuscule set of games, it had to be the perfect night. The fans gave him a rousing ovation, and his own coach (also his first NHL coach) mentioned that he looked like he had a drink from the mythical Fountain of Youth.
I don’t know what the season holds for Plekanec after this, but it’s not hard to see this being one of the best moments of the year for the team and Plekanec himself.
Congrats on 1000 games Pleky. Long may your turtleneck reign.