Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and the Colorado Avalanche are one loss away from their season ending, but they still remain confident in a team that won more road games than any other squad in the Western Conference.
After the game, MacKinnon discussed the missed call before the Kraken scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, saying “it’s not 1975.” He also mentioned his need to keep his composure after the call didn’t go his way.
Rantanen talked about the missed call as well, but remains confident his team can get the job done to force a Game Seven.
Take a look at what MacKinnon and Rantanen had to say, and read what Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said after a disappointing Game Five loss.
Bednar on what the team needs to do to force a Game Seven:
We got to reset mentally, number one. I think frustration, you know, they’re doing exactly what we thought they’d do. Checking hard, getting back above pucks, taking away time and space. And we seem to be getting frustrated, like we’re not expecting it. We’re stressing puck support, like we have to get better support on the puck in all three zones. And, you’re going to have scrums you go into and come up with the puck, some that you don’t. D-zone coverage is the same thing. But right now, they look like the quicker team. They’re winning every race. They’re coming out with pucks out of every scrum. We’re not coming up with enough of them. I felt like our support was slow today.
Bednar on if he believes his team can bounce back:
We’re gonna have to reset. Today’s a good example of it. It’s Game Five, a game you want to win, it’s at home, you lose a heartbreaker in overtime the other day as you kind of chip away, which wasn’t a great game for us. I still feel like we haven’t played anywhere near our best.
Give Seattle credit, you have to give them a lot of credit, but at the end of the day, I just want to see our guys play to the best of their ability for one game and see what happens. And that’s the sort of attitude that we have to have. We can’t look at the series as a whole or where we’re sitting with the opportunity to go in there and win one game. And if we fragment, it won’t happen. You have to pull together as a group in order to be able to do that.
Bednar on MacKinnon’s Frustrations:
I think there’s a couple of plays there that he probably has the right to be frustrated with. Gotta keep playing. And then they get the extra man in the offensive zone, which they score on. So beating us up the ice again in certain areas, which was giving them numbers to attack with.
Bednar on Avalanche Defenseman Josh Manson’s Exit:
It’s a continuation from his other injury. Obviously, he’s been dealing with it for quite some time now, on and off, for the better part of the whole second half of the season. Obviously, didn’t feel good enough to continue playing, so status for Game Six, I have no idea.
Bednar on the heavy minutes for the top Avalanche players:
Well, like I said the other day, I mean MacKinnon playing 23 and change is nothing. Does it all the time. It’s not like we’re running him to 27 minutes every night. We classified this as a must-win game at home, so we’re going to do whatever we had to do in order to get that done, and MacK played hard. He was effective. I mean, we needed him to be, comes up with a big goal for us. Do we get to the point where he runs out of gas? Maybe. But we’re facing elimination, so if we got to play him 30, we’ll do it.
If guys are really going and on their game, then we don’t necessarily have to shorten our bench. We’ve got some guys that aren’t getting a lot done and you’re playing tight games and you’re playing from behind and you’re going to go with your horses. It didn’t look to me like MacK struggled with the ice-time tonight. He’s feeling good, so that isn’t necessarily the issue for me, and hasn’t been at all.
Bednar on if he’s noticed a lack of confidence in his Avalanche squad:
No, but I’ve noticed frustration. When I say lacking confidence, it didn’t look like we wanted the puck as badly as they did, you know? And at times, we’ve run into this throughout games during the year. Guy comes to check us, gets within a certain distance from us and we want to get rid of the puck and not ready to skate with it, or willing to skate with it and let a play develop before we try and make the play. We’re too rushed. Sometimes that’s just not seeing it. Sometimes it’s lack of confidence for a specific player. But tonight, it kind of looked like the speed that they played with and our lack of speed and support kind of put our guys in some tough spots.