View Full Version : Pacioretty Telling It Like It Is

Spider-Man NL
11-05-2010, 04:08 PM

Pacioretty wants to be a top-6 forward with Canadiens

By Randy Phillips

Max Pacioretty wants to show Montreal hockey fans the Canadiens made a mistake by not keeping him this season.

The 6-foot-1, 203-pound left winger will get the opportunity when he and rest of the Hamilton Bulldogs face the Binghampton Senators Friday night at 7:30 at the Bell Centre in first of two games the Canadiens' American Hockey League affiliate will play here this season.

Pacioretty, picked 22nd overall by the Canadiens in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, is familiar to many fans here, having spent sizable chunks of the past two seasons with the big club. This year, however, marked the third time he's failed to stick with the team full time.

The 21-year-old says if he can't be a top-6 forward with the Canadiens, he's happy to stay the entire AHL season in Hamilton. He said as much in an interview with RDS Wednesday and elaborated with The TEAM 990 Radio's Tony Marinaro Thursday morning.

"I just don't see the need, for my development, to play the bottom two lines in the NHL because ultimately I feel I'm going be a top-6 forward," said Pacioretty. "That's what I want to be. I've experienced the bottom two lines in Montreal and it's obviously not what's going to develop me into the player I want to be."

Pacioretty is playing on a line with fellow Canadiens hopefuls Ben Maxwell and Ryan White and has three goals and nine assists in 10 games for the Bulldogs who sit atop the AHL's North Division with a 6-1-1-2 record.

He says he's playing the best hockey of his career with Randy Cunneyworth as Bulldogs head coach, who replaced Guy Boucher, now with the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I've never felt better in my life about my game right now," said Pacioretty. "These coaches (including assistant Randy Ladouceur) have been so great. It's only been 10 games and I feel like I've developed the most I've ever developed in my life.

"They let me play the hockey game that I've played my whole life and that's made me successful. That's what is going to make me successful," Pacioretty said. "Along the way they're going to stop me to tweak my game a bit, show me what I'm doing right ... a couple things I can do better. That's what gives me confidence instead of having a bad shift, getting sat and maybe going down on the fourth line.

"I've never felt that's the way to build me up as a player and that's kinda why last year I felt as the season went on, I felt my confidence was down a bit and even got worse," he said. "We're gaining it all back right now."

Pacioretty played 34 games with the Canadiens in 2008-2009 and 52 last season, but intimated he didn't get the opportunity to learn from his mistakes, especially last year with Jacques Martin in his first season as Canadiens' head coach.

"I was in the doghouse every time I made a mistake and that's what got me sent down and turned my confidence to the negative side," said Pacioretty. "When I was first called up with Carbo (Guy Carbonneau) as the coach, he gave me all the confidence in the world. Put me in situations to succeed and at times I did and if I didn't he didn't punish me. Regained my confidence by him telling me I'm playing well and he'd still give me a fair amount of minutes.

"He did a good job with that and that let me be ready for the next season. But last year I kinda struggled because it was a different situation for me."

Martin was asked about Pacioretty after the Canadiens' practice before leaving for Buffalo where they face the Sabres Friday night and had nothing but good things to say about him.

"He's a player and coaches decide where a player needs to be," said Martin. "Whether its first, second, third, or fourth line, you bring an element to the game. A lot of players may not start on the first or second line, they earn those rights to get there.

"Max ... we believe in him in the organization," Martin continued. "I'm a strong believer in Max Pacioretty. Last year, after training camp, I fought hard to keep him here because I like his speed, I like his skills. I like him as a person and you play him in a certain role and you hope that he develops.

"(But) the games are so close at this level we felt it would be better for him to go down," said Martin. "Both times he's gone down in the past he's been injured, so it's not his fault. This year he's been able to stay healthy and he seems to finding a niche where he's going to get some experience and develop as a player."

Pacioretty said he knew early in training camp his chances of sticking with the club this season were slim and that despite having the "best camp I ever had even with limited opportunity" he was sent packing earlier than either of his two previous appearances in camp.

He said was ready to try to help fill a role on the club, specifically on a line with the struggling Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez, but didn't seem to be ready to settle for something less.

"If it's not in that situation, I don't feel the need to be in Montreal," said Pacioretty. "They have enough third-, fourth-line players to take on that load. If they think they can plug me into the top-6, I'd be happy with that. Probably would be the best thing for me.

"Hopefully if that does happen, I'd be able to stick there and have the coaches show confidence in me if I make a mistake. Hopefully stick with that line instead of getting put down on the bottom two lines," he said. "If I did get put down on the bottom two lines, I rather stay in Hamilton."



Spider-Man NL
11-05-2010, 04:09 PM

Daily Hab-it: A fatal faux pas?

By Arpon Basu

Max Pacioretty is either brutally honest, or brutally dumb, or both.

Either way, what he did Thursday on live Montreal radio was beyond belief and went against his own best interests, no matter what he thought he may have been doing.

I'm trying to figure out why exactly someone would jump on the radio and talk about how much better he played under a fired coach and how the coach currently in place sapped him of all his confidence and left him a shell of a player?

Did Pacioretty think his comments would get him traded? If so, I wonder what kind of a GM would want a player who comes out in such a public way on the city's No. 1 English sports radio station and disparages your coach?

Did Pacioretty think his comments would lead to further leniency for his errors from Jacques Martin when he did eventually get called up? Or should I now say if he eventually gets called up?

What was he thinking? I'm dying to know.

For those who missed it, Pacioretty gave an interview to Renaud Lavoie of RDS and told him that he would rather spend the year in Hamilton if the alternative was being called up to the Canadiens to fill a bottom-6 role.

Thursday morning, he appeared on the Team 990 with Tony Marinaro and essentially said the same thing, except he went further by saying that while Guy Carbonneau encouraged him after he made a mistake and sent him back out on the ice, Jacques Martin would banish him to the fourth line and it left his confidence in tatters.

When asked if he would be interested in filling the gaping vacancy on the left wing of Scott Gomez, Pacioretty said he would, but only if it meant he would be allowed to make mistakes and he would remain in the top-6. Otherwise, no thanks.

Not a brilliant move for a 21-year-old in the minors to be dictating how he wants to be treated by a coach who is on the list of the 10 winningest in NHL history.

I honestly felt like Pacioretty had a spot reserved for him on this year's edition of the Canadiens, and when he was cut so early in training camp I was genuinely surprised. Pacioretty said he felt like he had the best camp of his life and made the most of the limited minutes he was given.

I've got to wonder what the repercussions of Pacioretty's bizarre frankness will be for his career, but I'd have to imagine it won't help much.

Honesty has its time and place

The thing about Pacioretty coming out and saying what he did is that he's right, for the most part.

Last season Pacioretty played 52 games with the Canadiens, and on 11 of those occasions he played fewer than 10 minutes. Except only four of those times came after Nov. 10, suggesting that he had in some way gained the confidence of the coach.

There's this guy named Mike at the University of New Brunswick who runs this great little website that tracks Canadiens line combinations throughout the season.

It shows that last year, Pacioretty spent the bulk of his time playing with Glen Metropolit and Travis Moen. In fact, that was the third most common line used by Martin all year in terms of total minutes played together, despite the fact Pacioretty was in the minors for the better part of the second half of the season.

While at first sight that appears clearly to be a third line, if not a fourth, it in fact became one of Martin's most trusted combinations amid a rash of early-season injuries, to the point where it was the line that received the second-most ice time on the team 13 times.

So while Pacioretty wasn't playing with top-6 linemates, he was receiving top-6 minutes for a time. Between Nov. 17 and Dec. 16, Pacioretty played at least 13 minutes in 13 of 15 games, topping out at 20:08 in a 4-3 shootout loss to Washington on Nov. 28. Over that span, Pacioretty got two goals and six assists.

But on Dec. 17, in a home game against the Minnesota Wild that marked the Bell Centre return of Guillaume Latendresse, Pacioretty was on the ice for a goal against in his first shift, and he played only four more through the end of the second period. Through 40 minutes, he played only 3:13, though he was given a regular shift in the third in a vain attempt to come back from a 2-1 deficit. And wouldn't you know it, Pacioretty was on the ice for the insurance goal in a 3-1 loss.

That kind of treatment is probably what Pacioretty was referring to, but it's something many young players have to go through under a lot of coaches, though Martin has built a reputation for intolerance for youthful defensive carelessness.

But be that as it may, it's one thing to gripe about it to your parents, or your agent, or your teammates, or your girlfriend, or your butcher, or some stranger in a mall.

You don't do it on the radio.


Spider-Man NL
11-05-2010, 04:15 PM
This team has been mismanaging prospects for years....nothing is going to change with Gauthier and Martin running the ship.

10-19-2014, 02:09 AM
And then Pacioretty is the teams best scoring forward :)