Nathan MacKinnon wasn’t in the mood for much talk after the Avalanche lost to the Golden Knights.
Vegas won the last four games of the series to send Colorado home after the Avalanche took a 2-0 lead in the series. During his post-game press conference, the four-time All-Star appeared upset and in a state of disbelief that his team had lost the series.
“Of course there’s always next year. That’s all we’re talking about, I get the feeling,” MacKinnon told reporters. “I mean, I’m going into my ninth year next year and I haven’t won anything. I’m really motivated. It sucks to lose four in a row to a team.
“You know, I felt like last year was our first real chance to win, and this year I thought we were the best team in the league. For some reason we just couldn’t get together. I’m sure at training camp next year, we’ll find out, dissect things and come back better. “
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Certainly MacKinnon is right about Colorado. They peaked in the NHL in points total in the regular season (82) and swept the Blues in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They scored 197 goals, a league-high, and their offense clicked in the first six games of the playoffs.
However, they faltered in the home stretch and that’s what led to their loss and the team’s frustration with the loss.
MacKinnon overflowed at times while answering questions. He was especially baffled by this question posed by ColoradoHockeyNow.com’s Adrian Dater.
“No,” MacKinnon said in a one word response to Dater’s confused question before mumbling some things under his breath.
And MacKinnon ended questions about the team’s defense as an issue after another reporter asked what they could fix next year.
“We’re the best defensive team in the league in a lot of categories this year, so that’s not it either. Like I said, we were on our heels in Games 3 and 4. These guys are a great team, very quick and they made us vibrate so hard, ”said MacKinnon. “We have a lot of warriors in our locker room, so that’s not it either.”
Whatever the Avalanche problem is, they’ll have the offseason to find out. But it’s understandable that MacKinnon was frustrated after the loss, especially as Colorado’s lead in the series quickly deteriorated.