MONTREAL – What do Brian Gionta
and the Energizer Bunny have in common? Is it that Brian Gionta
secretly also loves to play the drum all day? Who knows. But what we do know is they both have an endless supply of energy.
On top of being the only Canadiens forward to clock an average of over 20 minutes per game (20:45) last season, Gionta also dominated all Habs forwards in postseason ice time, logging an average of 22:11 each game. Never in the span of his seven-year career with the Devils did Gionta pile up as many minutes, and you can bet he’ll be looking to pull a copy/paste job of his first year in Montreal for this upcoming season.
Making the most of his time, the Rochester, NY native took advantage of every shift, converting them into a flurry of points. Although sidelined for 21 games between Nov. 3 and the Dec. 28 with a broken left foot, Gionta still managed to lead the team in scoring with 28 goals on his way to amassing 46 points in 61 games.
Performing with the consistency of a Swiss clock, Gionta will be gunning to reach a 0.65 or higher points per game average for a sixth consecutive season in 2010-11. His first campaign in a Canadiens uniform already saw him enjoy an average of 0.75 – the second highest of his NHL career.
That proved to only be the beginning for Gionta, who found a second gear come springtime, recording the highest postseason point-tally of his career. With 15 points Gio finished just behind sniper Michael Cammalleri for the team’s playoff points lead. Although the end of the upcoming regular season is still a long way off, you can be sure Gionta already has his eyes on the prize, gunning to participate in the postseason for a ninth consecutive year and add to his 86 career playoff games and Stanley Cup ring.
With a fresh NHL season on the horizon, as per usual, Gionta can probably expect critics to scoff at his size. And once again he’ll prove to them, just as he keeps proving to Montreal fans, that small stature or not, he’s a huge asset to any team he plays with.Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane.SEE ALSOWhat do the experts have to say? 2010-11 season preview – Michael Cammalleri Habs acquire Karri Ramo from Tampa BayInvite to Canada camp latest accolade for Leblanc