Anthony Beauvillier knows the drill when the Islanders play the Montreal Canadiens. As a Quebec native and a francophone, he's going to be in demand for the French-Canadian media. That goes double, maybe triple, when he's actually in Montreal, so it's no surprise that he's got a swarm of media around his stall at morning skate.
But across the locker room, tucked away in the corner, Mathew Barzal casually drops a hidden talent and begins an interview with RDS en francais. First it's just two cameras on the Isles rookie, but more media catch wind and head over. Soon, Barzal is holding court in French.
"I see Barzy speaking French and it makes me laugh a little bit," Beauvillier said. "He's pretty good."
Barzal took French-immersion in school growing up, hence his fluency, though he begins his interview saying he's only "comme ci comme ça," which means okay. Beauvillier said when they first met as teenagers Barzal's French was better than his English, so that's what they spoke.
"He used to be better in French than I was in English when we first met. I'm not sure if I taught him the right things, but it's pretty good," Beauvillier said.
Do they ever still speak it?
"Only when we want to say stupid things I guess," Beauvillier said.
Barzal will be pretty popular in Montreal from here on out.
After the interviews, Barzal was approached by Mike Bossy, the Islanders all-time goals leader with 573 goals in 752 games. The two chatted for a few minutes in the room. Bossy has a host of Islanders and NHL accolades, including the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year in 1978. Barzal is among the mid-season favorites for this year's Calder.
Bossy was on hand to also shoot a TVA feature with John Tavares. Bossy currently lives in Montreal.
Of course, Barzal is still a rookie, so he gets the rookie treatment now and then. He's not afraid to give as good as he gets when it comes to chirping, but Jordan Eberle did some digging into his Twitter timeline and got him this morning.
In non-hockey news, Minnesota natives Anders Lee and Brock Nelson reveled in the Minnesota Vikings stunning last-second win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. There was no Vikings memorabilia in the room on Monday, but whenever the TVs in the room showed Stefon Diggs last-second touchdown, the Minnesotans just happened to be watching.