Michi-gamer: Pride of the Mitten (Week of Oct. 12, 2015)


Welcome to another season of MiHockey’s Michi-gamer! We take great pride in our homegrown talent. Whether they grew up in the Mitten or we welcomed them here for college or juniors, they are our own. They represent the best place in the world for hockey. Every morning, we pick one Michi-gamer from the previous night’s slate of games across all professional levels of hockey – one Michigan player who stood out above the rest.


The Montreal captain continues to get it done for the 3-0 Montreal Canadiens. Max Pacioretty potted his third and fourth goals of the young season to help lift the Habs to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road. The University of Michigan alumnus is riding a four-game point streak to open the season and is tied with Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader and two others for the league lead in goals. The 26-year-old, former first-round pick is looking as comfortable as ever since being named captain of the Canadiens. Last season, he totaled 37 goals and a career-high 67 points in 80 games. At this rate, it seems likely Pacioretty will surpass the 70-point plateau for the first time in his career.

Highlights from Pacioretty’s two-goal game:

OCTOBER 13 – TOREY KRUG krug headshot

The Boston Bruins fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Columbus Day 1 p.m. matinee, 6-3, but Torey Krug did all he could to spark the winless Boston offense. The Livonia native had a hand in all three Bruins goals, recording a trio of powerplay assists to give him four points in the first three games. The 24-year-old Michigan State alumnus told MiHockey in the preseason that he wanted to have a more consistent season this year, and he’s certainly off to a strong start with points in back-to-back games, logging over 23 minutes of ice time on average.

Watch highlights from Krug’s three-point performance:

abdelkader head shotOCTOBER 12 – JUSTIN ABDELKADER

If he keeps playing at this pace, he’s good for 164 goals this season. OK, obviously we’re not expecting Justin Abdelkader to shatter Wayne Gretzky’s scoring records, but we are happy to see the Muskegon native excelling early in the 2015-16 season. After posting a hat trick on Friday night in the Wings’ 4-0 victory over the Maple Leafs, Abdelkader scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal in a 4-3 win against Carolina Saturday night. The Michigan State alum currently leads the NHL in goals, as he’s already well on his way towards matching his 23 tallies from last season.

MORE: Justin Abdelkader “off on the right foot” in Red Wings season-opening victory

Video highlights from Friday:


Michi-gamer features compiled by MiHockey’s @StefanKubus and @MichaelCaples.