Pacioretty knows he needs to do more, but also knows these are exhibition games

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There are two ways to interpret how Max Pacioretty responded to Team USA coach John Tortorella saying he “needs more” from the Montreal captain.

One, Pacioretty agrees with Torts.

Two, Pacioretty would like to remind Torts — and everybody else, for that matter — that these are exhibition games.

Here’s the video:

The (brief) transcript:

“I mean, it’s two exhibition games. Obviously I know I need to do more.

“Hopefully I can improve my game for the third exhibition game.”

You can tell he was hammering home “exhibition” for emphasis.

And to be fair, Pacioretty is partially right. He’s only played two exhibition games in preparation for what’s basically an exhibition tournament, so it’s difficult to get all worked up about a lackluster start.

On the flip side, though…

It was clear to everybody that the Team USA-Team Canada exhibitions weren’t ordinary warmup games. With the amount of jump and intensity on display, it was fairly easy to see who wasn’t bringing it, which is exactly what Tortorella pointed out after Saturday’s tilt (in which Pacioretty finished minus-2 in just 10:05 of ice time.)

“All the top players, even you look at Canada’s team, your minutes are going to be down. But Max hasn’t … he’s got to give me some reason to give him more minutes here,” Torts said. “We’ll see where it goes.

“We know he’s a really good player, great kid, we’ve just got to get a bit more out of him.”

In a related development, Pacioretty will skate alongside Ryan Kesler and T.J. Oshie tonight against the Finns. Kesler and Oshie were major catalysts in the two game set against Canada.