Pushing Plekanec & Pacioretty: Suffering Forwards Making Canadiens Suffer

The outcries have been constant and it is reflective of a perceptive, knowledgeable fan base that understands that the record is not always reflective of sustainable results and that numbers can, in fact, lie; tape, however, does not.

 

Somewhere between Tomas Plekanec being afraid of physical contact and throwing the puck away at any given turn or chasing the puck behind his own net and Max Pacioretty being unable to grasp the evidently foreign concept of a deke or the ever slipping concept of simply putting the puck towards the opposing net, the two currently softest players on display are making Canadiens fans forget about how unfortunately undeserving David Desharnais is of a spot on the NHL roster.

 

Tomas Plekanec, “role” or “assignment” assigned cannot rely solely on that as being any given reason why he has just single digit margin of goals in his last 82 games if he hopes to continue to be a top six forward or justify being paid $6,000,000 average annual value per season.  It had been said for about the last five years that Plekanec had about two real good years of hockey left in him and here we are now, pretty long after the fact, just now seeing that decline.  So the expiry date has come a little after when it was perhaps initially thought to be.  Good for him.  Now it is time to move on.

 

It seemed as though for the first time in an indefinite number of years, the top six forward unit was finally set for the Canadiens.  No such luck it would seem and Plekanec made himself the first glaring hole in that unit.  However, he has not done that on his own.

 

Max Pacioretty is proving Guy Lafleur (and others) right following his comments from two years ago.  Lafleur said that Pacioretty would only be a winner if he was willing to pay the price to score goals and to have success.  This season thus far has been the perfect testimony of everything said by The Flower.  Only in a season like this could Max Pacioretty find himself on a breakaway and end up with a penalty.  Whatever mental obstacle he is facing, it is hurting the team and if he cannot overcome it, he would be wise to walk into management’s office and surrender the C in hopes that it might find its rightful owner.

 

Make no mistake, Plekanec should consider the same with his A.  There are more than enough of those on this team.

 

Max Pacioretty is displaying all of the pitfalls of management choosing the safe option as opposed to the inspired option.  He was named captain and given all the benefits that he could ask for as he has been identified as the type of guy that just goes along to get along.  He does nothing against the grain and such tendencies are plainly on display as now that he faces the least bit of adversity, he tucks his tail and runs.  Zero shots on goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs is not only unacceptable, it is outright despicable and should be considered a borderline criminal charge in the city of Montreal.

 

In a word: floaters.

 

Those on this team finding success are the likes of Alex Galchenyuk, Andrew Shaw, Shea Weber, Paul Byron, Torrey Mitchell, Philip Danault and (of course) Alexander Radulov.  They are the kind of players that are willing to pay the price of victory.  They are the ones that instill the promised and advertised culture of this team.  Love Marc Bergevin or hate him, transactions such as these, all by his hand, are in such large regard everything that he said this team would and should be.

 

Fresh blood brings new life and Pacioretty and Plekanec have grown stagnant in their time.  Neither player is doing what needs to be done to showcase that their current level of play is an unsustainable low and that they will bear a positive turn in the near future.  There is no optimism, no hope and unfortunately no end in sight regarding the level of play of Pacioretty and Plekanec.  It is, however, November and it seems as though every year in this month, Marc Bergevin makes a move.

 

Who is to say, with the likes of T.J. Brodie and Dougie Hamilton (among others), available or potentially being shopped around that a suitable move could not be made? Surely these would be two fewer contracts to protect and at this juncture, there are many players making far less money that are more worthwhile protection assets leading to the upcoming expansion draft than these two of Montreal’s “top six” forwards.

 

Bergevin has gotten bolder with time.  Now is the time for him to show exactly what kind of chutzpah he really has.  Either of these two names on the way out would, at this point, be immediate addition by subtraction.

 

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