It’s a simple statement, but it’s hard not to agree with the following tweet below.
Tomas Plekanec became a Leaf tonight
— Still Our Water Bottle (@Lonny_Bohonos) April 17, 2018
It’s easy to see why Tomas Plekanec had grown on the nerves of a fairly large contingent of the Leafs’ fanbase. Throughout his 20 games in the uniform, he’s still yet to put the puck in the net, and with the fairly high acquisition cost of a second-round draft pick as well as two “B” (or “C”?) prospects in Rinat Valiev and Kerby Rychel, it’s easy to understand how he wasn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea. Add in the fact he’s one of the longest-ever tenured players of the Leafs’ oldest rival, and well, not everyone is going to be thrilled with his performance.
But in game three against the Bruins, Plekanec proved his value. In absence of Nazem Kadri for the second game in the row, Plekanec was matched up against Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand for about 12 minutes at even strength. And while the pair had torched the Leafs for a combined 20 points in the first two games, Plekanec was effective enough at shutting them down to a grand total over zero, while also creating other favourable matchups for the Leafs.
And then in the third period, Plekanec made a key play, to force a rush on Patrick Marleau’s second goal that resulted in his first Leaf playoff point.
If you blink, you might miss it, but we promise you it’s there.
Just look at him, folks. Look how happy he is to be here.
Whether you named your fish after him, went out and bought his jersey, or won’t think of him much after this year at all, his game two performance cemented one thing: there’s definitely value in #19 in blue.
It’s hard to imagine a reality where Tomas Plekanec finds himself in the Leafs uniform next season, but let’s appreciate right now that he’s still got something left to give.