The Montreal Canadiens are one of the few teams that entered 2017-18 as Stanley Cup contenders, but who have stumbled badly out of the gate. Much like is the case with the Edmonton Oilers, many are wondering if it’s time to panic that the pieces just aren’t there for the Habs. Much has been made about their defence, which has become a slow unit and now relies on 19-year-old Victor Mete to play north of 20 minutes a night next to Shea Weber against tough competition. But the offence has also sputtered, as the team has scored just 10 goals in seven games and have a power play converting on just 7.69 per cent of its chances. Jonathan Drouin leads the team with five points and Karl Alzner is the only other on the roster with more than two points so far this season. Given they are converting on a league-worst 3.9 per cent of their shots, the math would suggest more goals are on the way and one player in particular needs to start producing more. Max Pacioretty, Montreal’s captain and sniper extraordinaire, has just one goal and a minus-3 rating to this point. He’s taken 23 shots which, on a per game basis, is only slightly under his average from last season. But in times of struggle like these, the veteran and the captain is the one who has to lead by example and in the room. The only problem is Pacioretty himself is frustrated with his play.
Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty: ‘I’m the worst one on the ice’
Sportsnet | Oct 20