As last year’s top scorer for the Montreal Canadiens, Max Pacioretty will be
counted on again to rack up points. Despite missing nine games in 2013-14,
Pacioretty was just one goal shy of being the first 40-goal scorer in Montreal
since Vincent Damphousse in 1993-94, while consistently bringing offence to
Montreal’s first line. With the departures of Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges,
Pacioretty will be looked on to provide leadership as well as goals, as the
Canadiens try to build upon their impressive 2013-14 campaign. Will "Patch"
again meet expectations and prove to be a consistent scoring threat, or will the
pressure be too much for the young veteran?
2013-14 was an eventful year for Pacioretty; he suited up for his national
team in the Winter Olympics, had his first significant playoff run, and tallied
a career-high 39 goals while leading his team in points (60). Pacioretty’s goal
total was good for 4th in the NHL, trailing only Alex Ovechkin, Corey Perry and
Joe Pavelski. Impressively, Pacioretty also led the league in game-winning goals
(11) and tied Tyler Seguin and Pavelski for the most hat-tricks (3). Along with
points, goals and GWG’s, Pacioretty also led his team in shots on goal while
amassing the most powerplay points behind P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov.
Season Stats: GP 73, G 39 A 21, PTS 60, +/- +8, PIM 35, PPG 10,
SHG 1, GWG 11, SOG 270, ATOI 18:29
(Because of the lockout-shortened season, we are pro-rating all of
2012-13’s numbers over a typical 82-game year.)
The 2013-14 season saw Pacioretty’s minutes jump up about two minutes per
game, and it is expected that he will continue to earn the most ice time for a
left-winger. With his scoring prowess, we can anticipate seeing Pacioretty line
up for the first wave on most powerplays, and see him double-shifted late in
games when goals are required. Pacioretty will most certainly play with his
regular centreman, David Desharnais, at even-strength, but he may have P.A.
Parenteau on the opposite wing in lieu of Brendan Gallagher. Pacioretty saw
regular penalty-killing action last season, but he isn’t typically utilized as a
primary shut-down forward.
With prime powerplay opportunities and ample ice time, Pacioretty should have
no problems hitting the scoresheet this year. It may be difficult to match his
career-high 39 goals, but expect him to improve upon his low assists total from
last year. In points-only leagues, don’t overvalue Pacioretty unless goals earn
more points than assists, as he is a strong candidate to remain at least in the
top-10 in that category. In multi-category leagues, his SOG will help you while
his low PIM totals will hurt you. Unlike Montreal, Pacioretty shouldn’t be
considered the best forward on your team if you want any chance of winning your
league; don’t even think about wasting a first round draft selection on him in
all but the deepest leagues.