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Afternoon reading: On Pacioretty, Montreal’s sensitive sniper

Jun 4, 2014, 4:31 PM EDT

Max Pacioretty AP

Just sitting in the Staples Center media room. All’s quiet here, so I thought I’d pass along some afternoon reading in the wake of Guy Lafleur’s pointed comments on Max Pacioretty.

This column by the Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur is a good look into Pacioretty’s sensitive psyche.

“When I first got called up (in 2009) I scored on my first shot, first period, first game, and I thought life was the easiest thing in the world,” said Pacioretty. “I thought I was never going back to the minors. And you go two games without a point, three games without a point, four or five, and you feel like you’re the worst person ever, the worst player ever. And at that point of my career I wasn’t mentally strong enough to come out of that. You just feel like you’re never going to score again, and . . .

Also check out the Twitter feed of NHL.com’s Arpon Basu, who recently talked to Pacioretty about handling media and fan criticism in the hockey-mad market of Montreal.

“I can handle having a bad game and having people tell me that, and I can handle people critiquing my game and having an honest opinion,” said Pacioretty. “But, people mentioned I scored 39 goals, I think I was fourth in the league, and to take heat about scoring goals from no one that’s ever scored an NHL goal really bothers me at times.”

Obviously, some guys let criticism bother them more than others. Pacioretty is in the “bothers him a lot” category, which is why playing in Montreal has been so tough for him at times, and why he’s had to work on the mental side of the game.

To be fair, he’s only 25, and he did score four times in his last eight playoff games.

  1. westof1club - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    American sniper underachieves, no comments. Name ends in -in, -ov, or -enko, ship the lazy enigma back to homeland. Whatever

    • iwt5007 - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:48 PM

      DUMB.

    • eduncan8888 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      Please, if you’re not a Swede (never seen players who motor along every shift like the Swedes) nationality has no bearing on your work ethic on ice.
      Its all about motivation and personality, some guys want to be the go-to guy (Ovie, Subban) others want to be just another cog in the machine (Gaborik, probably Pacioretty).

      As a long time Red Wings fan I can tell you that Federov never played as hard with Yzerman on the ice as he did without him. I can also tell you that in all the games i watched him play, I never saw Konstantinov take a shift off.

      I acknowledge the “lazy russian” stereotype must be pretty annoying to you guys but you dont do your cause any favors by trying to pin the stereotype on other groups.

  2. sixchr - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Yes Max, you scored 39 goals in the regular season. One of the top scorers in the league. In 17 playoff games you had 11 total points, scored 5 goals, 6 assists, a -1 rating, and you averaged 3.2 shots per game. If you go back another year in 4 games he had donuts across the board and averaged 3.2 shots per game. When you’re a top scorer, that’s not good enough in the playoffs. Maybe instead of practicing what it looks like to be shot when you hit the boards you should focus on scoring?

  3. abouv1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    I mean at the end of the day, Pacioretty is the best scorer we’ve had in a long time, and he’s still young, his game will only improve. And we have him at $4.5 million a year for a while.

  4. beergold - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:25 AM

    I’d take him over Phil Kessel any day of the year.

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