Max Pacioretty

Max Pacioretty’s secret power? Bison, lots of bison

Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette has written an interesting piece about the nutritional regimen of Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty.

Pacioretty has arguably been Montreal’s best player this season. He’s tied for the team lead in goals and points and has done so despite suffering some pretty crazy injuries. Last year he took a James Wisniewski slapshot to the chest; he also suffered a concussion/broken vertebrae on the infamous Zdeno Chara hit. This year, he’s playing with torn ligaments in his wrist.

How does he do it, you ask? Simple — he eats bison. And he’s got his teammates onto it as well.

“I’ve found it in a few places around town, but P.K. (Subban) and I have been talking about splitting a whole bison,” Pacioretty said. “I have two freezers filled with bison back home (in Connecticut).”

It’s easy to see why Pacioretty is all about the bison. It’s high in iron, leaner than beef, has fewer calories than chicken and when you eat it, you feel like an ancient Nordic Viking that slayed the bison and brought it home to feed your family. Even if all you did was grab a package from Whole Foods.

Bison isn’t the only diet change Pacioretty’s made. After working with trainer/nutritionist Ben Prentiss, Pacioretty discovered he has a dairy allergy and is currently experimenting with a gluten-free diet. Pacioretty also told Hickey he avoids oversized portions and hidden calories, two things I refuse to believe exist.

All joking aside, you’ve got to admire Pacioretty’s resolve. The injuries he’s suffered over the last year would’ve been catastrophic to most, but he’s dealt with all of them and actually become a better player in the process. He’s on pace for the highest point total of his career and has become a legit top-six forward (on a line with Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy some bison.

Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Three
Getty Images
Leave a comment

In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

— He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

— From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

— Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

The Islanders also have a game in hand.

Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.


Video: Sidney Crosby extends scoring streak to career best seven games

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One
Getty Images

What is wrong with Sidney Crosby?

His slow start to the season has been well documented. But, um, he’s been on one heck of a roll offensively for some time and the points continue to pile up.

Crosby extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games on Monday, as he gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks in the second period.

That was goal No. 23 on the season for Crosby. He added No. 24 later in the game on a spectacular individual effort.

Oh, and here’s his second goal of the night. Not bad.

Turris: Public trade requests can be ‘very difficult’ to go through, as Drouin saga drags on

Getty Images
1 Comment

When it comes to the pressures of trade requests that go public, Kyle Turris can relate to what Jonathan Drouin might be going through.

Of course, Drouin’s request to be dealt from Tampa Bay made its way into the public via his agent, Allan Walsh, earlier this season.

The talented 20-year-old forward and third overall pick in 2013 has since been suspended indefinitely without pay for failing to show up to an AHL game while down in the minors and hasn’t played since Jan. 18.

It’s been a while now, but Turris found himself in a similar situation when, in October of 2011, his agent Curt Overhardt confirmed that the now 26-year-old center wanted to be traded out of Arizona.

Back then, Turris, another third overall pick, was a restricted free agent and had been in contentious contract talks with the Coyotes. He eventually signed a two-year deal with the Coyotes and was acquired by Ottawa not long after.

He’s been there ever since, with two 20-plus goal seasons.

“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.

“It was very difficult to do. You’re getting a lot of heat from the media and people, and people within the organization. It was a tough, tough go.”

Speaking of heat from the media: In addition to the suspension, Drouin was ripped in a local newspaper column — He’s the kid who quit” was one particular line that stands outfor his request and the drama that ensued from that.

For now, the trade deadline (Feb. 29) approaches and Drouin’s request has yet to be granted.

The wait continues.