Colorado Avalanche Nathan MacKinnon Playing Best Hockey of his Career

Nathan MacKinnon
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In his seventh season in the NHL, the first overall pick of 2013 for the Colorado Avalanche was Nathan MacKinnon. He is displaying with a regularity that he more than deserved to be the first choice of the Avalanche.

Nathan MacKinnon is Dominating Play

In his short NHL career, the 24-year-old has played in 465 games. He has tallied 160 goals, 254 assists and he is lethal on the power play with 46 goals. To demonstrate the consistent dominance he has averaged 40 goals and 58 assists over the last two seasons.

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He has started this 2019-20 campaign not missing a stride with five goals, seven assists in nine games. He’s scored at least one point in every game thus far.

He became the fifth player in NHL history with a season-opening point streak of at least nine games in consecutive seasons. He joined Wayne Gretzky (30 games, 1982-83; 51 games, 1983-84; 16 games, 1984-85 and nine games, 1985-86), Charlie Simmer (nine games, 1979-80 and 13 games, 1980-81), Guy Lafleur (10 games, 1975-76 and 10 games, 1976-77) and Rod Gilbert (nine games, 1971-72 and 14 games, 1972-73).

That says a lot about MacKinnon’s abilities on the ice.

The key to his exceptional play is his speed and puck handling ability. He seems to put it into a turbo boost speed when he starts heading towards the offensive zone. He just is a natural scorer and playmaker.

Of course, having linemates like Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog certainly can assist your scoring chances. The dilemma any defence has when lining up with this line is who do you cover? They are each very dangerous offensive players and keying on one just leaves the other two open to wreak havoc in your defensive zone.

Nathan MacKinnon Steps it up in the Playoffs

Participating in 25 playoffs games, MacKinnon has 29 points including 11 goals, eight of which are powerplay tallies. It just shows that this young man performs under pressure and is a valuable member of this team.

The way the Avalanche has started this new season MacKinnon will more than likely be showing everyone why he’s such a dominant player in the NHL. He makes things happen. He is very difficult to stop. MacKinnon averages about 3.5 shots a game and has a 9.9 percent accuracy rate when he shoots.

The Avalanche Have him at a Low Salary Cap

Nate MacKinnon signed a seven-year $44.1 million contract in July of 2016. Perhaps he should have waited to sign that contract. His linemate Rantanen just put ink to a much more lucrative deal when he got $55.5 million for six years. It doesn’t seem equitable but MacKinnon will get his fair share of money over his NHL career. In fact, if he continues the pace he has been excelling at, the team could even consider redoing his contract at some point.

Closing Remarks

A player of MacKinnon’s explosiveness and consistency is not easy to find. As the season transpires, every NHL fan needs to see this dynamic player. He broke this writer’s heart as he helped his Av’s teammates squeeze by the Arizona Coyotes last season to obtain the last wild-card playoff spot.

On March 29, 2019, the prolific scorer tallied the only shootout goal against Darcy Kuemper to take a pivotal game and an important extra point away from the Desert Dogs. It’s the kind of clutch player MacKinnon has shown himself to be and underestimating his abilities can cost you severely. One of any goalie’s nightmares has to be seeing ‘Mac speeding into your defensive zone and blasting a shot towards you.

Nathan Mackinnon has to be considered in the top-five players in the league and if he continues to play at the elite level he has, the Colorado Avalanche may experience a Western Conference championship… or more.

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