NHL News & Notes: Plekanec, Schultz & More

In today’s News & Notes, a veteran member of the Montreal Canadiens will be playing in a huge milestone game, a Pittsburgh Penguin is out long-term with an injury and the NHL has announced their Three Stars of the Week.

Plekanec to Play in 1,000th NHL Game

When the Montreal Canadiens take the ice Monday, it’ll be a little more special than any normal game would usually be for forward Tomas Plekanec who is set to skate in his 1,000th NHL game. Plekanec has played with the Montreal for the vast majority of his regular season games with all but 17 coming in a Canadiens’ uniform since the team drafted him in the third round in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

Montreal Canadiens Tomas Plekanec
Plekanec has been a major piece for the Canadiens for his entire career and will be honored by the team for his 1,000th NHL game. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

In 999 career games in the NHL, Plekanec has scored 232 goals and 607 points and has been an excellent two-way contributor for the team. Once a virtual lock to score north 0f 20 goals and 50 points a season, Plekanec has taken on more of a mentor role in Montreal since re-signing with the team in the 2018 offseason following a brief stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs for 24 games (regular and postseason) in 2017-18.

Related: NHL News & Notes: Emelin, Gagner & More

He’s only dressed in one game for the team this season and his role has primarily seen him used as a bottom-six contributor who can be a reliable defensive-zone center. Though his role on the ice may have changed, his importance to the culture of the team is exactly the same as he is one of the unquestioned leaders in the Habs’ locker room.

Schultz out Four Months

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without defender Justin Schultz for the next four months as the 28-year-old underwent successful surgery to repair a fracture in his lower leg Sunday. The surgery was performed by Dr. Dharmesh Vyas (the Penguins’ head team physician) and Dr. Alex Kline.

Justin Schultz Penguins
Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh Penguins, January 2, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The injury was suffered in Saturday’s contest between the Penguins and Canadiens.

Schultz was having a good start to the 2018-19 campaign with four assists in four games after having a down season in 2017-18 with only four goals and 27 points in 63 games. Schultz will be looking to return for his 2016-17 form when he returns from injury as he was able to score 12 goals and 51 points in 78 games that season with the team.

Bergeron Named NHL First Star of the Week

After a dominant week of hockey for the Boston Bruins following a beatdown at the hands of the Washington Capitals’ in their first game of the season, Patrice Bergeron is being rewarded for his efforts. The Bruins’ top center received honors as the NHL’s First Star of the Week for the week ending on Oct. 14.

Patrice Bergeron, NHL, Boston Bruins, Fantasy Hockey, Fantasy
Patrice Bergeron (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In that week of games, Bergeron played in three games, scored four goals (including a hat trick) and added five assists to give him a cool nine points for his efforts, good enough for first in points in the league for the week. The honor could easily have gone to either of his two linemates in Brad Marchand or David Pastrnak as well, as the three have combined for 30 points in their last four games. With that said, Bergeron is just as deserving as his linemates and often goes underappreciated compared to them as well.

In addition to the offense that Bergeron brings to the table, his excellent defense and work in the faceoff circle is also a major part of what makes him so dominant each and every night.

Coming in with the second and third stars of the week were Toronto Maple Leafs’ defender Morgan Rielly and Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho respectively.