« We know he’s going to run out of time. » Colorado Avalanche prepare for Nathan MacKinnon’s injury absence

It’s not the worst-case scenario for the Colorado Avalanche, but it’s certainly not the best-case scenario.

Superstar center Nathan MacKinnon left Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury and was ruled out before the end of the game. The Avalanche ended up losing 5-3. Briefing the media on Tuesday, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said MacKinnon will be out for at least a short time with his injury.

« The fact that he leaves early in the game is not a good sign » Bednar told Altitude Sports. “We know he’s going to run out of time. I don’t know how long.

It’s better than immediately declaring him badly injured or landing on LTIR immediately, but it seems clear the injury will cost MacKinnon a few games going forward.

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The exact cause of MacKinnon’s injury is not known, but he appeared to be in pain after blocking a shot – and conceding – both from Flyers’ Scott Laughton in the first period.

A significant injury absence from MacKinnon, 27, would add to an incredible streak of bad luck for the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Avs are currently without Gabriel Landeskog (knee), Valeri Nichushkin (ankle), Josh Manson (lower body), Artturi Lehkonen (upper body), Evan Rodrigues (lower body) and Bowen Byram (undisclosed), not to mention several other actors.

MacKinnon was his usual dominant self before the injury, racking up 34 points in 23 games. He’s been a true superstar over his past six seasons, tallying 476 points in 361 games, good for 108 points in 82 games. Still, the combination of injuries and COVID-shortened seasons have conspired to keep him from reaching 100 points in his career, hitting 99. This season, he’s trailing well north of 100 again. Another injury absence the will it prevent us from crossing the threshold again?

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