Max Pacioretty is known as a streaky scorer. When he gets hot, the goals come in bunches. But never before has he been as hot as he is right now.
Pacioretty has scored in six straight games and has 10 goals and 17 points in his 10 games this season. He’s tied for second on the team in goals despite playing 12 fewer games than Jonathan Marchessault and he’s only behind Chandler Stephenson, Reilly Smith, Alex Pietrangelo, and Mark Stone in points, despite playing at least five fewer games than all of them.
Sometimes they go in and you’ve got to be prepared for when they don’t. Playing with great players always helps and getting the opportunity to score always feels good but you want to win. -Pacioretty
This isn’t the coincidence he’s making it out to sound though. Pacioretty is a hockey junkie and he never stops trying to improve his game.
I live and breathe training, nutrition, any little advantage I can get by making the right decisions. As I get older in my career this is an area I have to try and explore to try and last as long as I can and keep my speed as best as I can. –Pacioretty on Agent Provocateur podcast
Recently he’s spoken about working on his game with Golden Knights’ skills coach Misha Donskov in an effort to fit more into Pete DeBoer’s offensive system.
It’s a lot of different areas of the game I’ve never taken into account, but as you can see when you add that to your game you definitely get rewarded. We know what I’ve got to work at and we’re all on the same page and then me and Misha go out there and work at it. I think it’s definitely helped my game tremendously, not just in my offensive game but skating all over the ice. -Pacioretty
Skating is something he’s been trying to improve on all summer as well.
I was in Montreal training with Tampa Bay’s strength coach and he talked about their skating coach. He said it brought Brayden Point from an average skater to one of the best skaters in the league. So I said, can I get her number. I didn’t end up working with her but I have worked with a few other skating coaches. Lars Hepso is the one I recently worked with the most. Shea Theodore, the best skater I’ve played with brought him in and it was just amazing the stuff I learned. I sent my kids out there with him and just saw such a difference in their skating. I thought if this works for them let me try this out and I noticed a huge difference in myself. –Pacioretty on Agent Provocateur podcast
This commitment Pacioretty has to constantly improve every aspect of his game is paying off in a big way. He’s always been one of the most dangerous weapons the Golden Knights have had, but this recent run of success has to have opposing teams terrified of what Vegas will look like if it continues.
The goal streak will eventually come to an end, and he’s probably not going to put up 17 points every 10 games this season, but there’s no doubt Pacioretty keeps getting better and better and the recipe is work, not luck.