During the presser after the Calgary Flames loss, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon remarked, “I’m sick of losing.”
Well, what he fully said was the following:
"“It sucks to lose — I think we’re all pretty sick of losing.”"
That may not seem like a significant comment. After all, what professional athlete isn’t unhappy about losing?
However, what struck me when MacKinnon made the comment was the honest exasperation behind the words. There was no being politely upbeat. Nathan MacKinnon is a winner, and he’s tired of losing.
And that’s a good thing for the Colorado Avalanche because MacKinnon could just be a game changer.
Nathan MacKinnon Backstory
By now we know Nathan MacKinnon’s story. He was a phenom coming up through the minor league ranks. His phenomenal play led to his being the Colorado Avalanche’s first-ever first-overall NHL draft pick.
MacKinnon went on the have an incredible rookie season. He played in all 82 games and scored an impressive 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points. Such a season earned him the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year.
We don’t say “sophomore slump” in Avs Nation. Rather, we notice that Nathan MacKinnon regressed his second season — same as the whole team. He earned just 38 points (14 goals, 24 assists) in 64 games. His season was cut short by a broken foot. (He also had a broken nose at the time.)
Nathan MacKinnon then went on to win a gold medal with Team Canada at IIHF Worlds.
Everyone is watching for Nathan MacKinnon to have a bounceback season.
I don’t think they’re going to be disappointed. Nathan MacKinnon is sick of losing, you see. The fire in his belly shows in the return of his explosive speed and sharp stick handling.
MacKinnon doesn’t have to impress to make the roster — he’s assured being in the lineup on opening night. However, Nathan MacKinnon is playing with the passion of a player trying to make the team.
Nate came into this season a little bigger — he says he’s an inch taller than when he was drafted as an 18-year old, and he definitely appears to have put on some muscle weight. MacKinnon also looks hungry.
According to NHL.com, Nathan MacKinnon intends to bring that hunger to the ice:
"“I feel faster, more powerful. I can say all that stuff, but I have to bring it to the games.”"
Indeed, one area in which MacKinnon vows to improve is in driving to the net:
"“I can drive more, for sure, and I need to get deeper when I do pull up — it needs to be closer to the goal line. I have to at least try to get to the net, and if I can’t, I’ll pull up. But for sure, this year I’m going to try to be more aggressive.”"
So, essentially Nathan MacKinnon had added size and aggression to his already considerable talents. That’s because MacK is sick of losing — and he knows he’s the type of player to change the course for the team.
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