Ryan O'Reilly has taken sticks to the face and there undoubtedly is evidence beneath his shaggy beard. But the young Avalanche forward professes not to have emotional scars from his holdout during the lockout-shortened 2013 season.
Rather he's more concerned with adjusting to switching from his natural position — center — to left wing on a line with Matt Duchene and Steve Downie. The move was no surprise given that shortly after Colorado drafted Nathan MacKinnon Patrick Roy said he envisioned O'Reilly sliding to wing and playing with Duchene. At the time though it also seemed possible it could wind up at most a short-term experiment for a new coach.
Through the exhibition season and the Avalanche's 2-0 start O'Reilly has remained at wing and he has a goal and an assist.
"I'm lucky to be playing with those guys" O'Reilly said Sunday. "Sometimes I think about the game in a center man's way and I'm still learning. This requires me to be more physical now. I have to forecheck and be ...