P.A. Parenteau is already feeling comfortable with his new club.
The Hull, Que., native scored twice in his Toronto Maple Leafs pre-season debut as they defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Monday night at the Air Canada Centre.
The right-winger believes he made a good first impression with his performance.
“You always want to do that,” said Parenteau. “I think I felt pretty comfortable out there tonight, I think most of the team did. It’s a good first game.”
Not only is Parenteau fitting in with the new club, he’s also found early chemistry with some of his teammates.
During a power play in the third period, rookie William Nylander fed Parenteau a crisp cross-ice pass that he made no mistake in burying past Senators goalie Chris Driedger.
“He’s a good player, he has so much skill,” said Parenteau about Nylander. “He’s not the biggest of guys but he’s so smart with the puck, so I saw that pass coming a mile away.
“He’s a really good player, he’s got a great future.”
Parenteau was bought out by the Montreal Canadiens and signed a one-year, $1.5-million contract in the offseason with the Leafs and, at least early on, it appears as though the team made a solid investment.
He wasn’t the only good acquisition, as the Leafs also went out and grabbed the best coach on the market, signing Mike Babcock to an eight-year, $50-million deal.
Babcock led the Detroit Red Wings to the playoffs each season during his 10 year tenure as head coach and Parenteau is already seeing the benefits to his coaching style.
“It’s really intense but it keeps your head in the game the whole time,” said Parenteau. “He’s well-aware of what’s going on out there. I think it’s good for all the young guys that we have and even for us veterans. It’s a good way to coach and I like it.”