Max Pacioretty is the big scoring forward that Montreal Canadiens and their fans have been wanting for years. Ironically, he still gets hit with a reputation that he’s soft, stays on the perimeter and is criminally underappreciated.
STATS: 73 Games | 39 G-21 A = 60 P | 35 PIM | +8 | 51.6% Corsi | 9.6 Point Shares
PLAYOFFS: 17 games | 5 G-6 A = 11 P | 8 PIM | -1 | 48.3% Corsi
STORY: There was a time when there were legitimate concerns about whether Max Pacioretty would pan out at the NHL level. Sometime between him leaving the University of Michigan and pretty much asking to be sent to Hamilton of the AHL. However, once he came back up to the NHL level, he was there to stay and only a “hockey play” and a stanchion has been able to stop him.
Pacioretty has come back and done everything a top scorer does. He may not go to the front of the net as often as people may expect, or like, but come on. The guy is a 40 goal scorer. Much like Subban, why can’t you just appreciate what’s in front of you instead of finding faults.
Pacioretty is very hard on himself, and after the playoffs said he wished he could have done better. Fact is, he wasn’t that bad in the playoffs. He, David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher actually drove possession at times but were unlucky around the net. Pacioretty had a 5.9% on-ice shooting percentage. League average is around 9%.
Pacioretty had a very good season and had he not missed nine games, would likely have been officially a 40 goal scorer. He had 28 even strength goals, so it’s not even like he benefitted from power play time.
He also scored big goals. He had 11 game winning goals in the regular season and two more in the playoffs. There were times that he struggled, but all goal scorers go through good and bad periods unless you’re Alex Ovechkin. Pacioretty is a star, and may very well be one of the top 10 forwards in the entire league.
FUTURE: Not only is Pacioretty improving every season, but he’s also signed to one of the most team-friendly contracts in the entire league.
Put it this way, Benoit Pouliot will be making $500,000 less than Pacioretty for the duration of their contracts. That’s right, Pacioretty is locked in at $4,500,000 until 2018-19. If the bridge contract worked for the Canadiens and Subban, it was a great move to avoid it with Pacioretty.
2019-20: Unrestricted free-agent