Ryan O'Reilly

O’Reilly: Shifting to left wing is ‘a good new challenge’


When the Colorado Avalanche took center Nathan MacKinnon with the first overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, it created a logjam up the middle. The Avalanche’s new head coach, Patrick Roy, quickly revealed that he would address that issue by shifting Ryan O’Reilly from center to the left wing.

O’Reilly knows that change is something he’ll need to get used to, but he thinks he’ll make the adjustment.

“I’m excited about it,” O’Reilly said, according to the Denver Post. “I’m looking at it as a good new challenge for me. I mean, I’ll be playing with two great players (Matt Duchene at center and P.A. Parenteau at right wing).

“I’ve played on the wing before, with Canada in the World Championships (skating with Jeff Skinner and Jordan Staal) so I’m not totally unfamiliar with it.”

O’Reilly wasn’t caught off guard by Roy’s decision either. He knew the Avalanche would need to make an adjustment after drafting MacKinnon. It also probably helps that he thinks highly of Roy.

“He’s all about winning,” O’Reilly said. “I’ve talked with him and I came away feeling really good. He brings so much passion to the game. It can’t help but rub off on you.”

O’Reilly missed part of the 2013 campaign because he was holding out as a restricted free agent. In the end, he had six goals and 20 points in 29 games.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella
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Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.