The reasons it shouldn’t happen are well documented. He’s only 19. He played only a 40-game NCAA season last year at Michigan. He would only benefit from some seasoning at the AHL level with the Bulldogs.
All logic aside, the smooth-skating winger has not only appeared anything but out of place, he looks like he belongs, especially in Montreal’s 2-1 shootout win over Detroit on Tuesday. What makes that all the more impressive is that he lined up with veterans Alex Kovalev and Robert Lang against the Wings.
“It was incredible to play with those guys,” said Pacioretty. “They were talking to me and giving me advice throughout the game that will only help me improve and develop.”
Having played alongside teenage phenoms like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in Chicago last season, Lang knows what kind of impact a young player can make.
“He played a really good game at the right time,” explained Lang, who assisted on Pacioretty’s first goal of the preseason. “I hope for him that he will get another shot to show what he can do on Wednesday or Saturday.”
The fast-growing Pacioretty fan club also now includes his possible future head coach.
“With every game he plays, he seems to be adapting very well,” said Guy Carbonneau. “Max really understands the game, too. Sure he makes mistakes, but that’s normal at his age. We will definitely have a tough decision to make.”
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
The numbers game - September 30, 2008