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2015-2016 Canadiens Season Review: Greg Pateryn

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After starting the season in the press box, Greg Pateryn got his chance and further proved his worth to the Montreal Canadiens

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Pateryn had something to prove this season, as he continued to fight for a permanent roster spot with the Canadiens. Starting the season in the press box alongside past-Hab Jarred Tinordi, Pateryn finally got his shot on November 14th against the Avalanche. Pateryn was then in and out of the line-up until mid-February, when he became a staple on the blue line.

He's a tough character and a physical presence that the Habs' defense desperately needed following a multitude of injuries this season.

Towards the end of the year Pateryn logged heavy minutes, averaging over 20 minutes per game in his last five of the season. He put up 7 points in 38 games, including his first career NHL goal. Keep in mind that his offensive ability is not why Montreal picked him up. He is a responsible defenseman, first and foremost, but his bomb of a shot is one that you wouldn't want to get in front of.

Pateryn started his season alongside Tom Gilbert, and the two actually produced solid numbers, pushing the 60 CF% mark. An impressive feat to say the least, seeing as most defencemen struggled alongside Gilbert this year.

Following Gilbert's injury, Pateryn slotted in next to Alexei Emelin where he spent the majority of the season. He also witnessed ice time with both Nathan Beaulieu and Andrei Markov. Unsurprisingly, Pateryn's numbers with Markov (though short-lived) hovered around the 51 CF% mark. The pair-up between Beaulieu and Pateryn appeared the weakest, with a 44.88 CF%. His time spent with Emelin earned Pateryn a 50.28 CF%.

It's safe to say that it was a tough year for the Canadiens all around due to injuries. A lot of players felt the effects, but perhaps none more than the depleted blue line.

What I love most about Pateryn is his tenacity. He has dealt with constant shuffles and being in and out of the line-up, yet never appears fazed. His main objective is simply to play, and play hard.  He isn't afraid to mix it up when needed, but isn't a 'goon-type' player, despite his 6'2", 212lb imposing frame. That tenacity was finally rewarded when Pateryn scored his first career NHL goal this season.

Inked in for another two seasons, Pateryn is not a UFA until the 2018-2019 season. While some may argue that his numbers are nothing to be amazed at, I argue that the pairings he faced, mixed with the constant shuffling of the blue line due to injury, leads for a misleading season.

Pateryn has the potential, speed, and physical presence the Canadiens are looking for on defense, and with the right line mate, it is obvious that Pateryn shines. It is unlikely that Gilbert will return next season, but if the Canadiens sign the UFA, at least they know that the two work well together as a pairing. At the very worst he's a cheap, efficient insurance policy.

A full year with the club next year has been well-earned, although it remains to be seen whether not Pateryn will be capable of solidifying his role within a health defensive group.