During the Stanley Cup Playoffs, legends are born as the stakes are raised to the highest level. Coming into the postseason, Nathan MacKinnon was one of hockey’s youngest stars. During the postseason, however, he has taken his game to another level. Through 14 games, Mackinnon has at least a point in every game as the Colorado Avalanche are one win away from the Western Conference Finals.
Star in the Making
Entering the playoffs, Mackinnon was coming off a productive regular season. In 69 games, the former top overall pick had 35 goals and tied a career-high with 58 assists. He also had 31 points on the powerplay, which was only six short of his career-high. Despite a shortened regular season, Mackinnon has been able to carry his success into the playoffs.
So far, this postseason, Mackinnon has nine goals and 16 assists. He also has nine points on the powerplay and has landed 62 shots on net. Part of MacKinnon’s success has been his aggressiveness as he is shooting the puck 14.5% of the time. The 25-year-old has also been highly effective in faceoffs which he has won 48.2% of the time, which is his best rate during any playoff run.
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) September 3, 2020
Additionally, the Colorado center has already made history this postseason. Mackinnon currently has the second-longest point streak in Stanley Cup Playoff history with 14 as Bryan Trottier has the longest with 18. He has been key to Colorado’s success as they have battled back from a 3-1 deficit to force a game seven tomorrow night against Dallas.
While Mackinnon’s offensive numbers have put him in elite territory, he is affecting the game on both ends of the ice. He has landed 19 hits so far and blocked two shots. He also has a plus-minus of 14, which is 17 points higher than his total from Colorado’s last playoff run. Despite averaging less ice time this postseason, he has been a force for Colorado.
Tomorrow night Colorado will face their toughest challenge of the season yet. The Avalanche will be looking to be the 27th NHL team to come back from a 3-1 series deficit. It is also a comeback that has never happened in franchise history. With Colorado on the doorstep of history, Mackinnon is the main reason they are there.
— NHL (@NHL) September 1, 2020
Although the future is uncertain, Mackinnon has taken his game to another level. On Friday night, Colorado will need him at his best as they try to extend their season. Regardless of how Friday plays out, Mackinnon has had a playoff run that won’t be forgotten.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images