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Avalanche Game 79 Recap: Mack for Hart

Nathan MacKinnon shows out yet again in the Colorado Avalanche's victory over the Minnesota Wild

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished about a month ago 3 min read

I've said it 1000 times this season, and here's #1001: Put Mack's name on that trophy!

The Colorado Avalanche entered Game #79 needing a lot to happen to even have a chance to win the Central Division. That loss to the Dallas Stars couldn't have come at a worse time. Now the Avs need a miracle. That starts with this game--the last of the season against the Minnesota Wild. The Avs had the alternates on to for the second straight night, and Alexandar Georgiev was in net against Filip Gustavsson.

Within the first minute, the Avs were on the power play due to a penalty committed by, of all people, Kirill Kaprizov. That was killed off, but the Avs' next power play wasn't. Artturi Lehkonen scored at 4:34 from Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar. MacKinnon was just getting started! We would see MacKinnon breakaway from coast to coast, and put it in to make it 2-0! The assists: Makar and Jonathan Drouin. Wild had a power play, it looked like it would be killed off quickly due to a high sticking double minor, but Devon Toews was accidentally hit by friendly fire. A weird attempt by Georgiev to swat the puck away resulted in the puck going in, and it was Kaprizov because of course it is. Wild received another power play, and with 20 seconds left, Matt Boldy tied it.

That had been a recent problem: our penalty kill was MIA as of late. You know what wasn't MIA for the Avs? #29.

Makar gave the Avs the lead 6:15 into the second period, but The Nathan MacKinnon Show would take over once again. At 14:50, Mack put in his 50th--repeat, fiftieth goal of the season to make it 4-2. And this was after he was called for some bullshit unsportsmanlike conduct by an official who refused to call penalties on the Wild. In the period's final minute, Mack did it again. Breaking away as only he could, Mack completed the Hat Trick; his 51st goal of the season, his fourth point of the evening. 5-2 was the score after 40 minutes, and that would be the score the rest of the way.

Nathan MacKinnon joined some special company on that evening. He became the sixth player in the combined history of the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise to score 50 goals in a single season. The late Jacques Richard was the first to do so, scoring 52 goals in the 1980-81 season. Michel Goulet had four straight 50-goal seasons, and still holds the franchise record with 57 goals in 1982-83. They are the only players to do it in a Nordiques uniform. Joe Sakic scored 51 goals in the 1995-96 season, the team's first in Denver. Milan Hejduk joined the club with 50 in 2002-03, and Mikko Rantanen scored 55 goals last season. The four point night increases MacKinnon's point total to 137, placing him two points behind Nikita Kucherov. In the event of a tie, Mack would finish first, as he has more goals.

MacKinnon's performance was one of the two sweetest attiributes in the Avs' 5-2 win. The other one: the Wild ended up eliminated from playoff contention as a result. The win kept the Avs in second place in the Central Division, but Dallas' 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres pretty much kills any chance of us taking the Central. In order to clinch the Central, the Avs have to win out, and Dallas can't win another game. In fact, Dallas can't get more than one point in the standings. So yeah, we'd be better off focusing on locking up home ice in Round 1.

Speaking of Round 1, the Avalanche are off for three days before heading home to face off against the team we'll most likely face in the opening round: the Winnipeg Jets. Fun fact: the Jets are the only Western Conference team we've yet to face in the playoffs. In order to clinch home ice in Round 1, we need to win out and the Jets need to lose a point in the standings. So overall, we have a magic number of seven points, and Saturday's head-to-head meeting is a big four point game.

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Thank you for reading my recap! Click the heart if you liked it, click the subscribe button for more of my stories, and feel free to comment below! Tips and pledges would also be appreciated, but only if you want to do so!


About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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  • Philip Gipsonabout a month ago

    I'm completely overjoyed about reading this next story!

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