MacKinnon's streak continues, Colorado Avalanche falter in Central Division bout

Nathan MacKinnon continues his current point streak by getting an assist on the Colorado Avalanche's first goal of the evening against their Central Division foe, the Chicago Blackhawks. While a 16-game point steak is indeed impressive and seeing the likes of MacKinnon and fellow linemate Valeri Nichuskin coming alive, the Avs continue to have issues in securing crucial wins with their own division.
Calgary Flames v Colorado Avalanche
Calgary Flames v Colorado Avalanche / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Last season, the Colorado Avalanche were dominant within the Central Division, going 19-4-2 across divisonal games. With the loss against the struggling Blackhawks, who picked up their 10th win in 31 games played, last night, the Avs find themselves sitting at 4-5-1 on the season against Central Division opponents.

That is not exactly a position you want to be in against the division in which your biggest hurdle was only listed as the Dallas Stars. Nathan MacKinnon will do everything he possibly can to carry this team into the postseason, but he cannot do it alone. Having a player like Valeri Nichuskin scoring at his current pace is a definite positive. But scoring cannot be from just the top line.

Offseason addition Ryan Johansen continues to raise concerns for most fans as he was brought in to establish some consistency to the second-line center position. With only five points in his last 15 games, head coach Jared Bednar has seen enough and has been running with Ross Colton as the second-line center, feeding him more ice time which has given some spark to the second line overall. Chemistry continues to be an issue for the Avs as a whole, and it may be a season in which the team will be addressing chemistry issues throughout the season, and potentially into the playoffs; a notion that doesn't sit well if you're expecting this team to be dominant this season.

While on paper, the Colorado Avalanche appear to be just one cog short of a well-oiled machine, the Avs need to focus on the here and now effects of wins and losses on the ice, while Joe Sakic and general manager Chris MacFarland hopefully work a little Christmas magic on acquiring that final piece for the second half journey of the NHL season.