P-A Parenteau (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
He's a journeyman with a high success rate, but the Montreal native is now rocking his home town's iconic jersey. So how far does Parenteau think his new squad can go with so much pressure around?
The Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche were both quite successful last season thanks to goaltending, even if advanced statistics pointed to an eventual downfall. Which was why the off-season trade that saw the two squads swap forwards Daniel Briere and P-A Parenteau was so interesting.
Parenteau was a good possession player, while Briere suffered in that category. The Avs, who got Briere in the deal, are still downplaying the effectiveness of fancy stats. Parenteau probably doesn't keep tabs on his own Corsi, but the trade got him in his home town's uniform, so why ask questions?
“It’s a pretty big deal, especially for a guy like me who is from Montreal," he said. "I try not to think about it too much."
That's probably for the best. Pressure can be stifling in the hockey-mad city and with the Habs coming off an unlikely trip to the Eastern Conference final – one that could have been a Stanley Cup berth had star netminder Carey Price not been run over by the Rangers' Chris Kreider – this year is no different. But the team's new left winger has no problem with fans who want the Cup back in town.
“The way the team played last year and how far they went, those are realistic expectations," Parenteau said. "The guys want that pressure, they want to do good. Things are looking good for this team if we play the right way. If everyone shows up every night, we’re going to be hard to beat.”
True to form, Parenteau was one of Montreal's better possession players early on, while also contributing directly to the scoresheet – he even had the shootout winner against Philly. On a team that has relied on depth lately, he's part of a bigger machine that works better in reality than in theory (ie. they have no true No. 1 center). And for a player that has put up offensive numbers with the Isles and Avs lately, Parenteau's mission in Montreal is simple.
“I know my role, I know why I’m here and I’m going to do my best," he said. "That’s all I can ask of myself.”