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A Month Later, MacKinnon Still Unhappy With How Avalanche Season Ended

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One of the things that sets Nathan MacKinnon apart from a lot of other athletes is his competitive drive. He wants to win, and he will do everything it takes to get there. If you want to win, you can’t accept losing. One month after the Colorado Avalanche were eliminated from the postseason by the Dallas Stars, MacKinnon is still upset with how everything finished.

The 28 year old superstar, who will likely win the Hart Trophy next week, made the rounds on the radio Tuesday, in part to promote Cwench Hydration, created by his long-time trainer Andy O’Brien. While on TSN1050, MacKinnon was asked about his infamous post-game press conference after the Avalanche lost to the Vegas Golden Knights back in 2021. You may remember this quote…

If you don’t happen to remember, the Avalanche star said, “I’m going into my ninth year next year and I haven’t won shit,” when asked about the future of the organization. He’s not someone who thinks about the future. He knows when a team has a chance to win the Stanley Cup, they need to take advantage of it.

That’s something he feels like this year’s Avalanche team let slip through their fingers.

“It feels like 10 years ago we actually did win now. I might say that quote again soon,” MacKinnon said. “I just think when you feel like you have teams to win and you don’t, it just feels like a waste of a season. It feels like that again this year for us. I felt like we were good enough to win, and we didn’t. It just leaves a really bitter taste in your mouth.”

MacKinnon is one to take ownership of his play, and on the Jeff Marek Show, took some of the blame.

“I really want to improve my game and come back better and produce more,” he told Marek. “I didn’t produce the way I needed to in that series. Just wasn’t good enough. Just couldn’t get the puck in the net, that was a tough team, good goalie, but yeah, got to be better.”

Dallas did slow down Colorado’s big guns, which is a big reason why they were able to win the series in six games. MacKinnon was “held” to five points in six games, and was held without a point in three of the six games. He discussed what changes he’s going to make this summer to come back even stronger next season.

“I just think there’s always things I can do to get better,” MacKinnon said. “This summer, I’m planning on skating a little bit more, just trying to fine tune my game. I don’t have a specific area I guess, but I just think the next year of work before the playoffs, or 10 months, of just fine-tuning my game, working every day, can add up. Hopefully that just creates a better outcome and better results for the team.”

I guess we’ll see if MacKinnon walks away with the Hart Trophy next week, but I’m pretty confident he will. I’ll be there live in Las Vegas at the NHL Awards Show with all the coverage.

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