Montreal has returned Greg Pateryn after a decent if not uneventful three-game cup of coffee with the big club. Pateryn did not register a point in 3 games but he was a solid body to bolster the Habs defense while the team waits for Raphael Diaz to return from injury. From a defensive perspective, Montreal is so rich in terms of prospects, that it was nice to see that they have other guys than the big-names who could step into an NHL role in the future. Pateryn isn’t the biggest guy on the ice, but he wasn’t small either. He had noticeable grit, and moved the puck well – which will always play at the NHL level. Though he has been sent down – it wouldn’t shock me to see him back with the NHL after the coaching staff get a good look at a few of the other guys in the system.
As Diaz remains hurt, Montreal called up Jarred Tinordi to fill the spot vacated by Pateryn. This is somewhat of a surprising move by the Habs as Tinordi is currently in the midst of his first full season in the AHL. As was also the case in Junior with the London Knights, Tinordi was a little slow to adjust to the pace of the AHL once he moved up to a new level of play, but he has developed nicely on a last-place team in the Western Conference of the AHL. Tinordi is not an offensive juggernot, but his game is defined by excellent positional play, strong puck movement, and the ability to clear the front of the net.
While his size of 6’6″ leads most people to assume that he gets by on size and strength (both of which he has in spades), it is his ability to use positioning, stick work, and hockey sense that really have the scouts salivating at his potential. One of the things that has always stuck out to me has been Tinordi’s ability to calmly clear the puck from his own end, which definitely fits the style of defensive play that has worked in Montreal this season. Tinordi is a good skater despite being such a big player. His addition should improve the dynamic of the Montreal defense substantially. Ideally he would work with Francis Bouillon on the bottom pairing, seeing time on the penalty kill (which could use a boost at this point).
Interesting times for the Canadiens as they experiment to assess what their true needs will be once the trade deadline rolls around next month.
Go Habs Go!!!