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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

Plekanec in crisis! What gives?

Your explanation for the Mysterious Vanishing Plekanec  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. What's with our supposed #2 centreman?

    • He played over his head the last two seasons, and is not really a top-6 forward
      6
    • This is all part of the learning process; he'll be fine
      17
    • He will need a change of scenery before he recovers his game
      2
    • He's a Koivu-type, prone to extended slumps
      5
    • It's mostly the fault of his linemates
      0
    • Other
      6


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13 points in 33 games...3 points in his last 20.

Pleks has single-handedly made the case against trading Grabovski. I guarantee you that Grabs would have better numbers...but that's not really the point of this. Pleks has been an absolute disaster and I'm curious about what you all think is driving this.

I'll say this much: thank God for Gainey's off-season moves. Most of last season's high-performing youngesters have evaporated this season, with Pleks being tops on that list.; were it not for the additions of Lang (who has filled in for Plek's missing production) and Tanguay, we might well be out of the playoffs.

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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I'll say this: I'm not worried. I don't know if that puts me in the camp that he's a Koivu type or a "learning curve" situation or what. He seems to have issues on occasion... before he broke out two years ago he had similar numbers at Christmas and ended up going a PPG the rest of the way.

As for the Grabovski thing Plex brings so much more to his game than Grabs does that the slumps are more bearable with Tomas than they could ever be with Grabs. He had a great year and a half run and now he's slumping... that's the way I see it. He should recover, and I don't think he's really bringing the team down with his play, he is finding some positive ways to contribute be it on the PK or with energy.

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Hmmm....I can't vote, because I can't decide whether it's option A or option B. Right now though, I'd play Koivu and Lang ahead of him....so that'd place him outside of the top six forwards.

Edited by sbhatt

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I don't know what to answer? I don't know what's wrong with Pex. Is it mostly his fault, or does the fact that Kovy and Andrei k. are both struggling at the same time as Plex??

I sure hope he can turn things around, and soon, cause we will need him for the second half of the season!

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I voted the learning curve option but I only agreed with the second part of it: "he'll be fine." Like Andrei Kostitsyn, I feel Plekanec's been playing quite well the past couple of weeks and has contributed more than his point total indicates. (Also, everything saskhab has said.) Keep him with Kovalev until he starts to score. Until then, he's still going to be a very valuable player on the PK and a decent secondary scorer. It's Higgins who we should start worrying about.

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I voted the learning curve option but I only agreed with the second part of it: "he'll be fine." Like Andrei Kostitsyn, I feel Plekanec's been playing quite well the past couple of weeks and has contributed more than his point total indicates. (Also, everything saskhab has said.) Keep him with Kovalev until he starts to score. Until then, he's still going to be a very valuable player on the PK and a decent secondary scorer. It's Higgins who we should start worrying about.

Totally right ^_^

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Plek is already our best player in PK. It's more about confidence right now for the offensive part of his game. He doesn't seem to find his team mates like he was last season. He seems to try big moves everygames, maybe just has to get back to the basis.

BTH, right now Plex is not at all a decent secondary scorer, he just doesn't produce AT ALL : 3pts in 20 games !!!

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Plek is already our best player in PK. It's more about confidence right now for the offensive part of his game. He doesn't seem to find his team mates like he was last season. He seems to try big moves everygames, maybe just has to get back to the basis.

BTH, right now Plex is not at all a decent secondary scorer, he just doesn't produce AT ALL : 3pts in 20 games !!!

Are you seriously suggesting that he's going to stick at that rate? He's still getting and starting chances, he just hasn't been getting any points. Those sort of slumps are never permanent.

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Are you seriously suggesting that he's going to stick at that rate? He's still getting and starting chances, he just hasn't been getting any points. Those sort of slumps are never permanent.

No, not permanent, but man, Andrei get off the slump, Kovy did as well but we're still waiting for Plex. So far, he is my #1 dissapointment on the team.

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No, not permanent, but man, Andrei get off the slump, Kovy did as well but we're still waiting for Plex. So far, he is my #1 dissapointment on the team.

But Andrei is going at pretty much the same rate. They've both been playing alright, just haven't been getting any points.

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I'll add another option -> it's a big contract year for him.

Last year, there were rumblings he was asking for a 5 year, $25 M deal (and another rumour he rejected that...). Sometimes, players excel in contract years, but there are times when a player struggles trying to do too much and his game suffers. I'm not saying it's the case here, but it's one of the first things I think of when I watch his game and where it's at today relative to last year.

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I'll add another option -> it's a big contract year for him.

Last year, there were rumblings he was asking for a 5 year, $25 M deal (and another rumour he rejected that...). Sometimes, players excel in contract years, but there are times when a player struggles trying to do too much and his game suffers. I'm not saying it's the case here, but it's one of the first things I think of when I watch his game and where it's at today relative to last year.

I don't think plex will be earning 5 mill per year anytime soon. Love the guy he can really bring it but he is not at superstar status yet and he needs to be putting the puck in the net a lot more before we talk those kind of numbers. Right now he should be signed for 2.5 mill for 3 years. he' making 1.8mill now so a nice raise.

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But Andrei is going at pretty much the same rate. They've both been playing alright, just haven't been getting any points.

nah, I have plex in my pool and he just got 0 pts while everyone else got some in the last 2 weeks. He is right now the only one "scorer/point maker" in the slump.

I luv the guy, he is good, he surely doesn't get the points he deserve. But how long before he starts getting them ???

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Confidence.

(And for Higgins as well.)

Don't forget that both have larger expectations because of what they've accomplished. It isn't a stretch to think they're struggling mentally to be what they should be - rather than just going out there and playing.

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Confidence.

(And for Higgins as well.)

Don't forget that both have larger expectations because of what they've accomplished. It isn't a stretch to think they're struggling mentally to be what they should be - rather than just going out there and playing.

Concurred.

Plex & Higgy are so similar. They're not pure natural high-end offensive talents like, say, Andrei Kostitsyn or Saku Koivu. They're talented, but their production will fluctuate alot depending on who're they playing with, plain luck and confidence.

They're also too responsible. They put way too much pressure on themselves; and when things dont go well it only adds to the stress and to the lack of confidence. Right now Plex isnt playing like Plex. He's doing every too soon or too late. That's the sign of a player that's not in his zone.

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Well, I will say that I see Pleks as a much more intelligent player than Higgins. Higgins is all hustle, hustle, hustle, hurry, hurry, hurry; he seems to have no idea how to control the play or how to take that extra second to target his shot, etc.. He basically plays a chaotic game predicated on speed and work. Until he starts to *think* the game - which may never happen - I suspect that he'll be stuck in a 25-goal, 50-point, often-injured rut.

Now Plekanec is a thinking man's hockey player. Smart defensively, good vision and quick more than he is fast, not unlike his head coach was, but with more offensive upside. In a way, this is what makes his atrocious slump so puzzling (shouldn't a guy as smart as him be able to get at least some points?). Then again, it may be precisely the problem...being a brainy player, he may be trying to think his way out of it, and so overthinking to the nth degree out there.

Neither deserves any sort of big contract. Not at all. In a way, their miserable season is doing gainey a favour, cap-wise; anything more than $3 mil would likely be excessive after seasons like these. :huh:

Incidentally, Plek's struggles further compound my longest-running anxiety about the Habs: our lack of quality depth at C in the system. There's an aging, battered Koivu...there's Mr. 3 Points in 20 games (Plekanec)...and there's...zip.

Big trouble, and it will kill us sooner or later, if it's not fixed.

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Well, I will say that I see Pleks as a much more intelligent player than Higgins. Higgins is all hustle, hustle, hustle, hurry, hurry, hurry; he seems to have no idea how to control the play or how to take that extra second to target his shot, etc.. He basically plays a chaotic game predicated on speed and work. Until he starts to *think* the game - which may never happen - I suspect that he'll be stuck in a 25-goal, 50-point, often-injured rut.

Now Plekanec is a thinking man's hockey player. Smart defensively, good vision and quick more than he is fast, not unlike his head coach was, but with more offensive upside. In a way, this is what makes his atrocious slump so puzzling (shouldn't a guy as smart as him be able to get at least some points?). Then again, it may be precisely the problem...being a brainy player, he may be trying to think his way out of it, and so overthinking to the nth degree out there.

Neither deserves any sort of big contract. Not at all. In a way, their miserable season is doing gainey a favour, cap-wise; anything more than $3 mil would likely be excessive after seasons like these. :huh:

Incidentally, Plek's struggles further compound my longest-running anxiety about the Habs: our lack of quality depth at C in the system. There's an aging, battered Koivu...there's Mr. 3 Points in 20 games (Plekanec)...and there's...zip.

Big trouble, and it will kill us sooner or later, if it's not fixed.

Love this post. I think Higgins is very overrated, and cringe when I think about what BG could have gotten for him in a trade when he was on a hot streak the season before last, and even at times last season.

Edited by sbhatt

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This relates to our UFA-less team in a way... it shows the importance we might place in bringing Robert Lang back on a year by year basis.

I also think it is VERY difficult to have 3 lines produce like scoring lines can... we have two productive centres this year so far, and one hurting is sometimes a consequence of that. I thought Lang would have low production as a result of the situation, but it appears it's Plekanec that will instead.

If our PP was successful, Plekanec would have a lot more points. If our PP has turned it around, slowly you will see Plekanec get more points, and it will help his confidence around the net 5 on 5 as well. It's kind of a chicken and the egg thing.

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Good 2 way player. Not a nummber 1 centre. Kovalev played well last year, Plekanec stats were inflated. Kovalev struggles this year. Plekanec struggles. ITs as simple as that

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I think every team would love a 25-goal stuck-in-a-rut player. ;)

I also wonder why Habs fans always want to press the panic button on kids. If we'd actually drafted Crosby, would there have been widespread panic and hysteria had he gone five games without a goal?

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Pleks seems like a smart, hard-working player, and I think that should shine through sooner or later. Last year he was on a line that was clicking for most of the season, this year we haven't had that sort of line and when we have Pleks hasn't been near it. Hopefully he'll turn on the jets in January like he did a couple of years ago. But he is showing a tendency to be streaky - he has a brilliant finish to 06-07, that carries over to most of 07-08, but he ends the season poorly and continues to struggle in the playoffs, and now he's started this season similarly.

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Pleks seems like a smart, hard-working player, and I think that should shine through sooner or later. Last year he was on a line that was clicking for most of the season, this year we haven't had that sort of line and when we have Pleks hasn't been near it. Hopefully he'll turn on the jets in January like he did a couple of years ago. But he is showing a tendency to be streaky - he has a brilliant finish to 06-07, that carries over to most of 07-08, but he ends the season poorly and continues to struggle in the playoffs, and now he's started this season similarly.

Good observation, Neech.

And for the record, Colin, I agree with you that Habs fans give up on young guys too soon (e.g., Lats, Ribeiro) and I'm not saying we should "give up" on either Higgins or Pleks; nor am I slagging these guys. But 3 points in 20 games is ridiculous. This thread is an expression of concern about Plekanec, not panic.

Having said that, we should note is that Pleks is 26 and in his 4th season. Now if we take the average player's prime years to be, say, 27-34, he's nearing that threshold. On the one hand, that suggests that the growth pains are drawing to an end; on the other, it also means that the "young player" excuse can't be used for too much longer in his case. (Higgins is a year younger, so he gets more leeway, or should).

Nonetheless, these guys are inching out of "youth" territory and into a point where what you see is probably what you get.

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Good observation, Neech.

And for the record, Colin, I agree with you that Habs fans give up on young guys too soon (e.g., Lats, Ribeiro) and I'm not saying we should "give up" on either Higgins or Pleks; nor am I slagging these guys. But 3 points in 20 games is ridiculous. This thread is an expression of concern about Plekanec, not panic.

Having said that, we should note is that Pleks is 26 and in his 4th season. Now if we take the average player's prime years to be, say, 27-34, he's nearing that threshold. On the one hand, that suggests that the growth pains are drawing to an end; on the other, it also means that the "young player" excuse can't be used for too much longer in his case. (Higgins is a year younger, so he gets more leeway, or should).

Nonetheless, these guys are inching out of "youth" territory and into a point where what you see is probably what you get.

Mine was a generalized blanket statement aimed at the average Canadiens fan, not at you specifically.

As to Plex, I agree, he is inching closer to that point where we should take him off the 'youth' category list and put him solidly in the 'veteran' category. And yes, three points in 20 games is a little disgruntling. However if we can have a little patience for veteran Kovalev and his 19-game drought, then surely we can be a little more patient with Plex and his struggles. Not saying he shouldn't have consequences, mind you - I believe a benching so he can watch and figure things out a little when the team gets healthy could very well be a good thing.

As for Higgins, I daresay he's one of the few people... well anywhere who could potentially be accused of working too[/b] hard. I disagree with the poster who thinks he has little hockey sense. I think he's a well-versed player, however I think he's taking the coach's insistence on hard work to heart, and that's all[/b] he's doing. He would be well-served by loosening up a bit, forgetting the expectations, and just playing the game. If there's anyone gripping his stick more firmly - in hockey all around the planet, mind you - I'd be shocked. He's at the point where he can't even receive a pass without it jumping off his stick, and I think we can all agree he's got pretty good hands; his deft moves in traffic in past years have been impressive. I actually think he's the one player who needs to take his pedal off the accellerator because you can't always see the details at 100mph.

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Neither deserves any sort of big contract. Not at all. In a way, their miserable season is doing gainey a favour, cap-wise; anything more than $3 mil would likely be excessive after seasons like these.

Agreed, Offer them each 3 million$ per year for 2 years. See what happens!

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Mine was a generalized blanket statement aimed at the average Canadiens fan, not at you specifically.

As to Plex, I agree, he is inching closer to that point where we should take him off the 'youth' category list and put him solidly in the 'veteran' category. And yes, three points in 20 games is a little disgruntling. However if we can have a little patience for veteran Kovalev and his 19-game drought, then surely we can be a little more patient with Plex and his struggles. Not saying he shouldn't have consequences, mind you - I believe a benching so he can watch and figure things out a little when the team gets healthy could very well be a good thing.

As for Higgins, I daresay he's one of the few people... well anywhere who could potentially be accused of working too[/b] hard. I disagree with the poster who thinks he has little hockey sense. I think he's a well-versed player, however I think he's taking the coach's insistence on hard work to heart, and that's all[/b] he's doing. He would be well-served by loosening up a bit, forgetting the expectations, and just playing the game. If there's anyone gripping his stick more firmly - in hockey all around the planet, mind you - I'd be shocked. He's at the point where he can't even receive a pass without it jumping off his stick, and I think we can all agree he's got pretty good hands; his deft moves in traffic in past years have been impressive. I actually think he's the one player who needs to take his pedal off the accellerator because you can't always see the details at 100mph.

Problem is : Kovy had 12 assists in his 19 games drought. It is not just about scoring.

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