Max Pacioretty misses two penalty shots, scores hat trick anyway

Max Pacioretty

It’s a rare feat when a player is able to get on both the highlight and lowlight reels on the same night. Montreal’s Max Pacioretty managed to do it Thursday.

First, the good news. Pacioretty scored a hat trick in a 5-2 home win against the slumping Vancouver Canucks. It was his second three-goal game of the season and helped keep the Canadiens in a more comfortable playoff spot with one road game left before the Olympic break.

Now, the bad news. In a matter of less than two minutes in the second period, Pacioretty was hauled down on a couple breakaways and awarded two penalty shots. It was a one goal Montreal lead at the time of both of them, so the Canadiens’ leading goal scorer had the chance to bury the Canucks right there.

But it didn’t go so well.

Since the Canadiens won, the worst Pacioretty will get from this is a ragging from his teammates.

It was a rare, rare occurrence, but were they good calls?

I’m a fan of giving out penalty shots on obstructed breakaways so I tend to lean in that direction in a lot of cases. On the second breakaway here, the defenseman doesn’t appear to catch the puck first, so that’s a clear cut penalty shot call.

But the first one looked to be a play on the body, with Pacioretty starting to glide and cutting into the defenseman to gain a positional advantage. At this point it doesn’t appear to be a breakaway and the defenseman is in the play. If his arm wraps around Pacioretty’s that’s more like a holding penalty than a penalty shot.

What did you think of the calls?

Follow Rory on Twitter