MacKinnon nails four goals in victory over Captitals


The Colorado Avalanche is coming off a sloppy win in Philadelphia, beating the Flyers 7–4. But the big news of the night was that Artturi Lehkonen was returning from a serious neck injury suffered on November 9th. Colorado’s top-six sorely missed Lehkonen, who was absent for 35 games. His high pressure style of play has made the difference in some games. Nathan MacKinnon also caught fire tonight with a natural hat trick in just under seven minutes. Here are the takeaways from the 6–2 victory over the Washington Capitals.


— The Avalanche offense is back. During the seven minutes that it took for MacKinnon to get his hat trick, they were passing at will. It was mostly that the Capitals were out of position, but the Avalanche were hitting the tape on every pass. They were moving along the edge of the zone quickly and even right through the slot.

— Cale Makar is seeing the net on another level. While trying to kill a penalty in the first period, Makar stole the puck in his own zone and ran it all the way into the Capitals’ zone. Without breaking stride, he snapped it from the blue line to open the scoring. He has been one of the most consistent players, other than MacKinnon, with nine points in the last five games.

— Alexandar Georgiev looked a lot calmer in the crease tonight. According to Meghan Angley, Georgiev has been staying late after practice to get some extra work. As of late, he has been letting a lot of goals past him with a 2.98 goals allowed average this season. Tonight, he only allowed two goal. Georgiev’s lateral movement was excellent, making it look easy.

— The one thing that looked horrible tonight was that the Capitals were walking right through the slot. There were some opportunities that they had that they would rush in right past the two forwards who had their backs to the play. It led to a high danger chance by the Capitals and almost a goal. Georgiev was fortunately reacting well to those situations tonight, and it became a routine play for him tonight.


MacKinnon led the way with four goals and one assist. Mikko Rantanen was not far behind with one goal and assisted with every MacKinnon goal. The special teams started the momentum with a goal by Makar while the team was down a player, followed by two goals by MacKinnon during a power play. If the Avalanche continues to pass the puck like they did tonight and Georgiev performs how he did, is this the Avalanche everyone truly feared? And this was a team without Valeri Nichushkin in the lineup. A healthy Avalanche team is something that we will never get this season, but this may be as close as we get. And it is scary for the opposition. The Avalanche will be back at on Friday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

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