Gritty, Hard-Nosed Michael Pezzetta Entrenched In Habs Culture

Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals
Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

When watching the Montreal Canadiens play, Michael Pezzetta doesn’t really stand out.

Rarely do you hear his name called by the play-by-play announcers. Which, for a fourth-line player isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But he is effective in his role, and he bleeds the bleu, blanc et rouge.

On Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, when Brandon Gignac scored his first NHL goal, the energy was palpable. The whole Bell Centre was fired up, but perhaps the most excited individual was No. 55. Gignac was grinning from ear to ear, but Pezzetta was so animated.

Straight after the 26-year-old notched his first goal in his fifth career NHL game, Pezzetta retrieved the puck. While it doesn’t seem significant, we have come to know Pezzetta as a Brendan Gallagher type. They are both all heart and more often than not throw caution to the wind. 

Pezzetta’s black-and-blue game is very cut and dry - simplicity reigns superior. It’s meant as no knock on his game, but a testament to the effectiveness of making the first play; not the prettiest one. When Pezzetta plays his game, he creates space using his physicality and his skating - never staying in one spot. 

When he hits, he hits hard and it often garners attention, but it also breathes energy into the team. Because he plays a game that doesn’t hurt the team, he has continued to be trusted by Marty and Trevor Letowski. On the ice, he has developed a reputation for standing up for his linemates.

Time and time again, especially this season, his lack of hesitance to drop the gloves has aided the team. Something that endears him to the coaching staff and his teammates especially. Even if he never plays above the fourth line, Pezzetta could carve himself out a long, successful career through blue-collar hard work. 

He isn’t a speedster, but he has quick strides and he blends in short give-and-go passes to chip away through the neutral zone. Sort of like a linebacker, Pezzetta rushes up the ice and bulls through his opponents. And anybody who doesn’t like it gets answered with a spirited scrap, we have come to know, that you shouldn’t expect anything less.

With the heart of a lion, Pezzetta doesn’t need to be the biggest, fastest or even the most skilled, he gets the job done. Thanks to consistency and a never-die attitude, he has entwined himself into the Habs culture. And continues to be a pillar of the Canadiens' culture, helping the team in any way that he can. 

No. 55 won’t blow you away, but he will certainly have you on the edge of your seat, cheering after a timely hit or a Mike Tyson-like slobber knocker.