The Montreal Canadiens added some toughness over the summer when they signed George Parros and Douglas Murray. With these two men in the mix, the Canadiens believed they had bulked up enough to protect their skilled players and combat some of the more burly lineups in the Eastern Conference.
Has this new emphasis on grit caused more harm than good? Max Pacioretty is concerned the Canadiens may be losing focus.
It's worth noting that both Murray and Parros are currently injured, but the Montreal Gazette provided some rather interesting comments from Max Pacioretty on the new muscle inserted into the lineup.
I think we got away from what we do best. We’re a speedy group of players and we have to use our speed to create chances. We have to stay away from the after-the-whistle stuff.
Pacioretty is fine with the additional toughness on the roster, but he followed it up with the comment that his teammates need to stay away from stuff after the whistle. He has a point. The Canadiens lost a heated contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the team seemed to be at times more concerned about scrapping than lighting the lamp.
It's early. Pacioretty makes a good point, but the Canadiens still have plenty of time to find a healthy balance of grit and skill.