NHL: Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty Is a Machine, Eyes Return for Playoffs

Sarah LeavittContributor IMarch 17, 2011

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 3: Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens carries the puck up ice against the Florida Panthers on March 3, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Canadiens defeated the Panthers 4-0. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Say what you will about Zdeno Chara's hit on Max Pacioretty: the 22-year-old Montreal Canadiens forward is a machine.

After being diagnosed with a a non-displaced fracture of his C4 vertebra and a severe concussion from being hit into the stanchion by Chara on March 8, the prognosis is great.

"Max was evaluated yesterday and the doctors have noted that his recovery is going well," Habs coach Jacques Martin told reporters. "They have confined him to full rest until next Saturday. Once this period is over, he will begin rehab which will permit him to restart regular training, with contact, in three to five weeks."

Pacioretty may be ready to hit the ice just in time for his first experience of NHL playoffs.

"It looked for a moment that his career was in danger, so it's good news that he'll be able to get back to practice," Martin said.

Pacioretty suffered bruised ribs earlier in the season but he did not miss a game.

Habs' fans are breathing a sigh of relief after losing the team's best forward. Pacioretty scored 14 goals and accumulated 24 points in just 37 games since being called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Pacioretty has created a Twitter account (@maxpacioretty67) to thank "the fans, the media, and everyone in Montreal who has supported me." (The Montreal Canadiens verified that this his real account).