Daily Hab-it: Pacioretty gets his wish
Max Pacioretty, seen here in 2009, should add a jolt of offence to the Canadiens lineup. Assuming he gets the opportunity to do so. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
By Arpon Basu
Published Sunday, December 12, 2010 7:13PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 3:11AM EDT
MONTREAL - I wasn't overly impressed with the method Max Pacioretty used to get his message across to Jacques Martin, but it would appear that message got through.
After scoring his AHL-leading 17th goal of the season – and his 16th in his last 19 games – on Sunday with Martin in the building for a 5-1 Hamilton Bulldogs win, Pacioretty was called up to the Canadiens just a couple of hours later.
It's been pretty clear the Canadiens had a need for a top-six winger for quite some time now, with Travis Moen woefully miscast for that role. But up until now that void wasn't hurting the team, at least in terms of wins and losses. Now, in the midst of only the team's second two-game losing "streak" of the season, it was time to fill that void.
I'm also pretty sure Martin and Pierre Gauthier wanted to be certain that when Pacioretty was ultimately called up, he would be prepared to make sure the move was permanent.
He deserves a great deal of credit for getting that message across loud and clear, and he did it the right way with his performance on the ice.
One would have to presume that Pacioretty is being called up to play on the second line and add some offence to a club that needs another dangerous scoring line to complement Tomas Plekanec.
With Pacioretty making his thoughts on this matter abundantly clear, now is not the time for Martin to play bad cop with the guy. He needs a chance to show what he can do consistently and he can't be punished when he has a bad shift.
Spacek's status vital
The trickle down effect of this move is also interesting because the Canadiens are now carrying two extra forwards and an extra defenceman, assuming they are healthy.
But that's a pretty big assumption to make, seeing as Jaroslav Spacek couldn't finish Saturday night's game.
If he were to miss any time whatsoever, it would be a pretty monstrous blow to the Canadiens seeing as he is asked to face the opposition's top line night after night.
Funny how a lot of fans wanted to see Spacek buried in the minors for the longest time. You know what they say about being careful what you wish for.
Martin apparently suggested Saturday night in Toronto that the injury wasn't serious, but that's also what he appeared to suggest on Scott Gomez, and he's missed the last two games.
Spacek's status is part of the equation when trying to figure out which forwards will sit with Pacioretty's call-up. If Spacek is healthy, Martin may still choose to dress Weber as a forward, which would mean two forwards would have to come out.
One would clearly be Dustin Boyd, and I'd imagine the other would be Tom Pyatt. But that's not as slam-dunk of a decision as you would think because Pyatt is an important part of Martin's rotation on penalty killing. Friday night in Detroit, Pyatt was on the ice for 4:04 of shorthanded time, and on Saturday it was 2:22.
That's a pretty important role to play, which is why I would have to feel Martin would rather dress six defenceman and Pyatt.