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.
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.
Kane also tied Denis Savard (1985-86) for second-longest streak in Chicago history. Bobby Hull had a 21-game streak.