DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18: Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche takes the ice with teammate P.A. Parenteau #15 of the Colorado Avalanche against the Anaheim Ducks during preseason action at Pepsi Center on September 18, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.

Parenteau: It’s ‘scary’ how good MacKinnon is already

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Not every first overall pick develops into a star, but plenty of them do and so far Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon is looking like he’ll be one of them.

He only turned 18 on Sept. 1, but he’s more than holding his own in his rookie season with eight goals, 21 points, and a plus-five rating in 37 games. Barring an injury, he’s currently on pace to finish with a points total in the ballpark of what John Tavares had in his rookie campaign.

P.A. Parenteau wasn’t around for Tavares’ first season, but he was united with the Islanders forward during his sophomore campaign. The two often played on the same line as Tavares developed into a superstar. Now with the Avalanche, Parenteau is getting some playing time with MacKinnon and sees similarities between the two former first overall picks.

“Nate is still learning the things that J.T. had to go through,” Parenteau told the Denver Post. “It takes some time. This is the toughest league in the world. But he’s going to get there. It’s scary how good he is already, and when you think that he’s barely 18, I mean, he’s going to be something when everything matures a little more.”

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy has been happy with MacKinnon’s development. Even in rough games like Friday’s 7-2 beating at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, MacKinnon could at least appreciate it as a learning experience.

He saw guys like Patrick Kane, yet another former first overall, and knows that with enough experience, the game will start to slow down for him too.

Until that happens, he’s still more than adequate.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)