This year’s first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon’s Colorado Avalanche beat fourth selection Seth Jones’ Nashville Predators 3-1 on Friday, but their teammates stole the show.
In the mind of Predators fans, the real story was probably Steve Downie’s hit on Roman Josi, and really, Downie in general. The 26-year-old drew 10 PIM:
Downie: tripping (20 seconds into second period)
Charging (9:21 into second period)
Charging again (12:10 into second period)
Roughing, twice (9:28 into the third)
From Colorado’s perspective, it might have been P.A. Parenteau’s night. He scored two goals (albeit one an empty-netter) to help the Avs win.
That’s not to say that the two rookies were lost out there.
MacKinnon collected a secondary assist, fired two shots and logged 17:14 minuts of ice time. Jones didn’t generate a whole lot, with just one shot and a -1 rating in 25:46 minutes.
While their numbers aren’t eye-popping, they still seem like they belong at the NHL already, so both fan bases should be pleased.
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.