One of the strongest players for the Montreal Canadiens this season was Max Pacioretty. The young winger disappeared in the playoffs, and the Canadiens will hope that was a fluke and that he will be able to turn in a third straight successful season in 2013-14. One of the best decisions the team has made in recent seasons was locking him up long-term, and if he can improve even more the Canadiens should be able to return to the postseason.
Pacioretty scored 15 goals and had 39 points in 44 games this season, leading the team in both categories. His 33 goals and 65 points led the Canadiens in the 2011-12 season. He’s young and continues to improve, and that’s great news for a Canadiens team that has a core in place that could keep them going to the playoffs for many years to come. Pacioretty was a second round pick in 2007, and starred at the University of Michigan and with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL before getting a shot, and he has made the most of his time there.
In four first round playoff games, Pacioretty saw 17 minutes of ice time on average but failed to register even one point. That left P.K. Subban leading the offense with two goals, and that ultimately spelled doom for the team’s hopes of a deep playoff run. Pacioretty’s season was more impressive considering he spent a lot of time on the second line with David Desharnais and rookie Brendan Gallagher. As Gallagher continues to emerge as a star, Pacioretty and Desharnais can help with his development, which only adds to their value.