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Nathan MacKinnon is an NHL Beast

Previously, I wrote an article about Cale Makar, the star defenseman for the Colorado Avalanche. While Makar has had himself a solid year, another Avalanche skater has gone to the next level. Since joining the Avs in 2013, he has racked up 852 points with his club. Along with several nominations for the Hart Trophy for most valuable player in the NHL, he also won the Calder Trophy in 2014 for rookie of the year. On pace for forty eight goals and eighty three assists this season, it's Nathan MacKinnon. 

As mentioned, MacKinnon is on an absolute tear this season. Through fifty eight games played thus far, he has thirty four goals and fifty nine assists. With ninety three total points, MacKinnon is second only to Nikita Kucherov in points with ninety four. Midway through the season, he was the clear Hart Trophy favorite, and it isn't hard to see why. MacKinnon has broken several Avalanche and NHL records this season. With points in all twenty seven home games this season, he has far surpassed Joe Sakic's record for Avalanche/Nordiques home point streak. In fact, MacKinnon has beaten all but one NHL player for longest point streak to open a season. After passing Bobby Orr, Nathan MacKinnon only trails Wayne Gretsky and his insane forty game home point streak. On top of the home point streak, MacKinnon had himself a nineteen game point streak earlier this season, scoring ten goals and twenty one assists during that period. As if his 2023-2024 campaign couldn't get any more ridiculous, Nathan MacKinnon has another crazy stat. On Thursday December 21st, 2023, MacKinnon recorded a five point night. But not just any five point night, but a four goal and one assist night. Absolutely insane from MacKinnon. Given the last goal was an empty netter, many assumed this was a one time deal for MacKinnon, at least for this season. He proved everyone wrong, however. On Wednesday January 24th, 2024, MacKinnon scored four goals again. No empty netters, just four goals in one game from one of the best players in the NHL. 

Nathan MacKinnon certainly has the statistics to back up his resume for best player in the MVP, but what makes him such a good player? Like his teammate Cale Makar, MacKinnon's skill is a combination of traits. First, MacKinnon is one of the fastest players in the NHL. His highest speed this season was clocked at 24.05 MPH. He has also reached the 20 MPH threshold and beyond over three hundred times this season, the most in the NHL. Along with MacKinnon's speed is his wicked set of hands. Whether it be dangles, dekes, or deadly wrist shots, MacKinnon has some crazy skill when it comes to puck handling. MacKinnon is also a beast on the ice, willing and able to throw some brutal hits onto other players. While he usually reserves this physicality for the playoffs, he occasionally brings it out during the regular season. A great example of this came during a bout with the Buffalo Sabers. Jeff Skinner was skating down the ice into the Avalanche zone when MacKinnon let it loose, absolutely crushing Skinner on the open ice. Video can be found here. (SPORTSNET) His raw physicality, speed, and puck skills make him one of the most exciting players to watch in the NHL, especially in the playoffs. Two years ago during the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, MacKinnon scored one of the greatest goals I have ever seen. With two goals in the game, Nathan MacKinnon picked up the puck behind his netminder Darcy Kuemper. He activated his killer speed in the neutral zone, burning three defenders in two strides. After powering his way through a defender to the net, he rapidly threw the puck between his forehand and backhand. With one final burst, he roofed the puck over the shoulder of Blue's goalie Villie Husso and into the back of the net. All of that, while skating at top speed. Simply incredible. Video of the goal can be found here. (SPORTSNET) Colorado would go on to win not just the series, but the Stanley Cup. 

Nathan MacKinnon is one of the best skaters in the NHL, and his 2024 campaign for the Hart Trophy has and will continue to be a beauty to watch. 



NHL. 2024. “Nathan MacKinnon Stats And News.”



Austin Eide is currently a junior at Poudre High School. This will be his first year writing for the Poudre Press. He enjoys playing trumpet in Pep Band and is also Captain of the Build Team for 159 Alpine Robotics. Austin also loves building with LEGO and making stop motion movies on YouTube. His blog is dedicated to music, hockey, band, and more!

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