Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon left Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins after taking a hit from Bruins forward Taylor Hall.
Taylor Hall with a big hit on Nathan MacKinnon pic.twitter.com/2NyTR317sb
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 27, 2022
Nathan MacKinnon Left the Game
Early in the first period, MacKinnon was breaking out of his own zone with the puck. Hall came from across the ice and hit MacKinnon in open ice. Hall’s shoulder drove MacKinnon’s stick into his face causing him to bleed. The officials initially called a five-minute major on Hall but rescinded it to a two-minute interference penalty.
This season, MacKinnon is third on the Avalanche in scoring with nine goals and 34 assists for 43 points in 30 games. He’s only trailing Mikko Rantanen with 49 points and Nazem Kadri with 52 points. He’s leading all forwards with 21:49 in average ice-time, and a 53.3 Corsi For percentage, which is 10th on the team.
Taylor Hall has scored nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points in 39 games, for fourth on the Bruins in scoring. He plays an average of 16:08 minutes per game and has a 55.5 even strength Corsi For percentage, which is ninth on the team.
A coincidence is both players are first overall picks the year their junior teams won the Memorial Cup. Taylor Hall won his second Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires in 2010, defeating the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Final. A month later, the Edmonton Oilers drafted him first overall. In 2013, Nathan MacKinnon’s Halifax Mooseheads defeated the Portland Winterhawks in the Memorial Cup Final. He was selected first overall by the Colorado Avalanche soon after.
What This Means for the Future
Nathan MacKinnon is Colorado’s best forward, and hopefully, he isn’t gone for too long. The Avalanche does have Nazem Kadri to take over as the top centre for the time being. He’s doing a remarkable job as one of the league’s top scores this year. This will result in Alex Newhook and Tyson Jost moving up the line-up at centre. They do have the depth to handle MacKinnon’s loss. However, they don’t want to be without their star for too long.
As for Hall, the referees reducing his penalty from a major penalty signals that he probably won’t be suspended for the hit. His shoulder came close to MacKinnon’s head and that is what the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will look at. However it does appear that it was MacKinnon’s own stick that did the majority of the damage here. This looks more like an unfortunate accident than a dirty hit.
DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 26: Nathan MacKinnon (29) of the Colorado Avalanche takes a breather against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)