The Hockey News player of the week for the period of Dec. 21-27 is Montreal Canadiens playmaker Tomas Plekanec.
With eight points in three games on the week, Plekanec moved up to 44 points in 40 games this season and into a tie with Dany Heatley for seventh in league scoring.
Plekanec was a crucial part of Montreal’s three-win week. In the first match against the Atlanta Thrashers, the Czech native had his best game of the season, scoring a goal and adding three assists in a little more than 25 minutes of ice time. The Habs won 4-3 in overtime and Plekanec was a plus-1 with four shots on net.
Two days later against Carolina, Plekanec played 20-plus minutes for the eighth time in his past nine games and recorded three points (all assists) without taking a single shot on goal. He was plus-2 with one power play point as the Habs routed the Canes 5-1.
Finally, in Saturday night’s 3-2 overtime win in Toronto, Plekanec notched one goal on two shots, bringing his season total to eight.
With three wins, Montreal remained fourth in the Northeast Division with a 19-18-3 record, but moved into a playoff spot, one point ahead of eighth place Atlanta and the Rangers.
This week, Montreal faces Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Florida and Buffalo.