2013 NHL Draft

Avalanche coach Roy just wants No. 1 pick MacKinnon ‘to have fun’


It’s so predictable, the pressure that accompanies being the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft.

Nathan MacKinnon knew that going into Sunday. He knows that two days after his name was called by the Colorado Avalanche.

Of course, only adding to that is the fact he comes from the same town – Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia – as NHL sensation Sidney Crosby, and the Avalanche have missed the playoffs three straight seasons.

But rather than heap even more expectations on his newest young-star-in-the-making, Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy is trying to ease the pressure off MacKinnon just a little bit.

“I want him to have fun,” Roy told the Associated Press.

“There’s going to be enough pressure on him anyway. I know he’s going to deal well with it. At the same time, it’s important for him to feel comfortable.

“We need to give him time to adapt and just feel comfortable.”

The addition of MacKinnon already has Roy formulating line combinations, more than two months before training camp gets underway.

It appears, very early on, that MacKinnon could occupy the third-line center spot with Colorado.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?