In the famous words of character Denis Lemieux in Slap Shot, you don’t do that. As the game got chippy and gloves came off on Wednesday night, Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon had one of those moments.
Just one day after fellow young superstar Conor McDavid received a $5000 fine for an ugly elbowing incident, MacKinnon may be next in line for NHL supplemental discipline.
The incident began with five minutes remaining in the Avs 9-3 blowout win over the Arizona Coyotes, including Jonas Donskoi’s hat trick. MacKinnon chucked Garland’s helmet back at Garland before the two engaged in a second wrestling match.
The pair first tangled a moment earlier when Garland went back at MacKinnon over a loose puck. Garland wasn’t playing the puck and gave MacKinnon a good shot, but MacKinnon didn’t skate away.
As MacKinnon re-engaged, he threw Garland’s lid at him. They scrapped again before they were separated by Arizona forward Christian Fischer. MacKinnon was given two roughing minors and a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
There is some history between MacKinnon and the Coyotes. In the 2020 NHL postseason in the Edmonton bubble, MacKinnon got the better of a scrap with Fischer–actually, he wailed on Fischer.
This season, MacKinnon has been well above a point-per-game pace. He has 40 points (10g, 30a) in 31 games. He trails Mikko Rantanen for the team scoring lead by three points.
Arizona is fighting for a playoff spot in the Honda West Division. After the Wednesday loss, they trail the St. Louis Blues by just one point for the fourth and final playoff spot. St. Louis also has one game in hand on coach Rick Tocchet’s team.
With the win, the Avalanche lept over the Vegas Golden Knights by one point for the West division lead, but Vegas still has one game in hand.
Here is the incident from late Wednesday on the National Hockey Now YouTube Channel:
Colorado Hockey Now will update you if the NHL adds additional punishment for Nathan MacKinnon.