This isn’t the first time Colorado Avalanche fans have started the “MVP!” chants, and it won’t be the last, but this time, they’ve got every right to.
With his second four goal game of the season, Nathan MacKinnon has once again leapfrogged Nikita Kucherov to become the leading scorer in the league. And yes, he hears all those chants, but as he told me after the game, he’s heard them before and won’t get his hopes up.
MacKinnon was in a fantastic mood after the game, and for good reason. The Avalanche beat down the Washington Capitals by a score of 6-2 in front of their home crowd. We also talked to Mikko Rantanen, who had a five point night of his own.
MacKinnon on the “MVP!” Chants:
“I mean, I’ve heard them before and I’ve never won MVP, so it doesn’t mean much,” MacKinnon said with a laugh. “But obviously the fans are very supportive. I’m not getting my hopes up.”
Avalanche Head Coach Jared Bednar on Nathan MacKinnon’s off-ice habits:
“Here’s the thing – he’s always been the most dedicated guy off the ice since I’ve been here. It started last year, he’s carried it through the summer, but what he’s doing this year, he’s really consistent with it. And again, I’m talking going from great to elite habits. Or elite to super elite habits off the ice, but he’s found something with his desire to get better and his drive and his education of his off-ice training. He’s always looking for the edge, right? And he’s found what clearly is working for him. He just doesn’t have many nights where he doesn’t have his legs or energy, and if it is, it’s probably my fault for playing him too much the night before.”
Bednar on if MacKinnon could do anything to surprise him at this point:
“He couldn’t. He couldn’t surprise me. That’s just where he’s at.”
Bednar on how MacKinnon’s training impacts the travel of the Avalanche:
“Most teams are on the road, you’re moving cities, we get done in a game, and most teams are on the bus in 20 minutes, and they’re on the plane within an hour of flying to wherever they’re going, and they get in early. We get in late, but we’re not going to change it, because Nate has a routine after the game that he does at home, on the road, it doesn’t matter, because that’s what makes him ready for the next game. As a coach, or even as his teammate, some guys have followed suit and they’re doing it. He’s pushing other guys to do it, which makes us better. As a coach, you just go along with it. I sit on my computer and work for an hour after the game before we get on the bus. Instead of getting in at 1, we get in at 2. It works for him, and he’s the one leading us, so whatever works for him.”
“It’s been that way for a while. We’re the slowest team in the league to move on.”
At that point, Avalanche PR guru Brendan McNicholas chimed in to say “BY FAR.”
Bednar on Lehkonen and his line with Johansen:
“I liked that line tonight. I think that was a great first game from Lehky. Involved physically. I’ve seen Lehky play better, but for me, first game back, a couple months out, I thought that was a great game. Really responsible again on the checking side of it. New linemates, did powerplay, penalty kill, involved in all areas of the game. And he was a hard player. He played with the great and determination that we’re used to, and that’s only going to get better.”
Bednar on Georgiev’s game:
“I thought he was fantastic. He just looked square and sharp. Less rebounds than we’ve seen out of some games recently, pretty aggressive challenging.”