SUN Hockey Pool

Paajarvi remains upbeat

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Magnus Paajarvi knew it wasn't going to be easy regardless how he made it look during the preseason.

So even though the Swedish rookie has yet to get off the mark in the regular season, and looked uncharacteristically pedestrian in the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers Sunday, there's little reason to worry.

"There are 82 games and you can't play 100% every game. I don't think any player in the world can do that," Paajarvi said. "You just have to focus on the next game and the next practice and you just have to be patient and good things will happen.

"When you don't go well, you have to just try and focus on the next game and not worry too much about the last one."

Paajarvi has fallen behind early in the Oilers rookie scoring race this season as Jordan Eberle has collected a goal and an assist, while Taylor Hall picked up an assist.

It's a race many are expected Paajarvi to win, considering his experience playing in the Swedish Elite League.

"It's different here, not harder, but different," Paajarvi said. "You have to learn and I think it's getting better and better.

"The pace of the first two games was good and it was what I expected it to be. We were able to get two wins out of it, which is important, even though we played some good hockey and we played some bad hockey. Hopefully the next game can be better for the team. I think we stepped it down a little bit from the first game of the year."

Like any rookie, Paajarvi did have some jitters going into the season opener, but it didn't take long for him to receive a league welcome.

"The first game I was definitely nervous, but I got hit pretty early and that kind of woke me up a little bit," he said. "Right now I'm feeling more comfortable during game and I don't think I'll be as nervous as the season goes on."

Playing on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Gilbert Brule, the trio has been able to generate some chances, but have yet to routinely capitalize on them.

"We do have a lot of speed on that line and we are getting better and better every game and the chemistry is coming for sure," Paajarvi said. "We know that we didn't play that well in the last game and we have to be better."


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