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03-09-2013, 07:40 AM
  #53
Lshap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
I agree with you (although most here will probably disagree) that Plekanec has benefited from having a healthy Gionta. However, I think we're also seeing an early-mid season version of Plekanec, the perception of whom is erased by late-season Plekanec every spring.

Here are Plekanec's hockeyreference monthly career splits:

Oct - 79gp, 35pts - .67ppg
Nov - 92gp, 63pts - .68ppg
Dec - 94gp, 62pts - .66ppg
Jan - 84gp, 62pts - .74ppg
Feb - 95gp, 72pts - .76ppg
Mar - 98gp, 55pts - .56ppg
Apr - 33gp, 11pts - .33ppg

I'd like to see some splits of underlying numbers too... but these boxcar stats match what I've been seeing over the last few years. IMO Plekanec loses his edge after a season of tough minutes. I don't think it has to do with a higher intensity game (unfortunately the "little girl" comment has reinforced that narrative), I think it's a stamina issue. I'm hoping Therrien can manage his minutes, and maybe Eller can do some heavy lifting at the end of the regular season, because we'll need this mid-season version of Plekanec if we're to do any damage in the playoffs.

Basically, that's why I put "Plekanec playing with renewed energy" as a reason for early season success. He is the same Plek that we've seen before, but not necessarily the same Plek he's always been.
Count me among the guys who believe Gionta's made a difference. We tend to underestimate the chemistry between players, and it's clear that Plekanec and Gionta have it.

I really want to see if Plek's late-season fall-off is reduced by having a balanced offense. With more guys able to play more minutes, maybe we can finally give Plekanec a break and not grind him down by the playoffs.

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