Center Nathan MacKinnon is 18 years old and already has seven points locked down after only two games as the Colorado Avalanche make their push for the Stanley Cup; the youngster scored the Avalanche’s first goal on Saturday night tying the game 1-1 off a pass from Paul Stastny. The Avalanche went on besting the Minnesota Wild 4-2 and taking a commanding 2-0 series lead as the teams head to St. Paul this week for some playoff hockey in what is hailed as the American home of the sport.
The stats for MacKinnon get slightly depressing when people start to think about what they were doing at 18 years old; the kid wins the race — this is for sure.
But can Colorado keep up the momentum they have drawn from their play in the past two games? Yes, if MacKinnon has anything to do with it.
While it is most definitely jumping the gun to pull a Jeremy Roenick and start comparing the rookie to current great Sidney Crosby (Roenick was simply in the moment; forgive the unbalanced opinion), MacKinnon has displayed a level of talent all season long that is easy to get excited over. Kids like him only come around every few years.
At this rate, the series between the Avalanche and Wild becomes entertaining merely to see where MacKinnon takes his game from here on in. Saturday evening at the Pepsi Center, watching the standout youngster alongside Colorado team captain Gabriel Landeskog (who himself is only 21 years old) was as fun as playing a round of NHL 2K14. Because that is exactly what the two looked like on that Colorado ice — perfectly-crafted game figures who at such young ages already have the ability to see the game better than most.
The series between the young Avalanche and the more seasoned Wild is definitely far from over, especially since Minnesota has yet to reign on home ice; but regardless of who pulls through, MacKinnon’s performance is already one for the ages.