Starting over from scratch… or almost
Michael Pezzetta has a heart as big as the Bell Center and a determination to make Ironman fans green with envy. Still, in a normal season and on a remotely competitive roster, he would never have hung on for 51 NHL games.
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Obviously, this extended stay with the Canadiens during which he scored five goals and added six assists is to his credit. After all, that’s what got him a new one-year contract, this time one-way, with the Habs.
“Last year, I think I showed that I was of the caliber for the NHL. They know what I can do. I know they know what they can get out of me every night,” he said after morning practice before the game against the Devils.
The 24-year-old Torontonian is happy with what he’s accomplished, but he’s not fooled. He knows that for players of his type, it’s always to start from scratch… or almost.
« I want to continue to build my game and show that I can bring different things, » he said. Now what I want to do is show that I can control the puck in the back end and I can make plays. »
“Generating attack from behind the net and from the boards has to become my bread and butter,” he continued.
Limited game time
Pezzetta is certainly using the right strategy in wanting to offer a more diversified game.
Over the summer, Kent Hughes acquired Evgenii Dadonov, Kerby Dach and Sean Monahan. Including the injured, 14 forwards currently have one-way contracts. Names to which is added that of Juraj Slafkovsky, the very first choice of the last auction. That’s a lot of people at mass.
“Indeed, there are a lot of attackers. There are young people, very talented players and others who were in Laval last year and who are pushing to carve out a position. , he admitted. I know that the caliber is always higher, that there are always stronger players arriving. It’s a healthy competition that pushes you to surpass yourself during the summer and makes sure you’re ready for camp.
Last year, of the 40 skaters who wore the Canadiens’ uniform, Pezzetta is the one whose average time of use was the lowest (7 mins 50s).
« If I’m lucky enough to play shorthanded and excel, that will also allow me to add minutes. »
We wish him, but unless there is an unexpected outbreak, this will not be the case. Last winter, in 51 games, he saw action in this phase of the game for only a total of nine seconds.