2022 Stanley Cup Final: How Nathan MacKinnon can overcome a drought

TAMPA FL. — It took Nathan MacKinnon It took years to get here. We're not talking about the. Stanley Cup Final.

The Colorado Avalanche Star is stuck in a scoring drought with zero goals and only two assists through the three Cup Final matches against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was completely absent from the scoresheet. Colorado's 6-2 drubbing Lightning in Game 3

MacKinnon the old would have cursed his inability to produce, overcompensated, and ended up hurting his team even more. MacKinnon is now mature enough to realize he can't do everything and will continue to strive for more offensive punch. Game 4 On Wednesday

After Monday's loss, MacKinnon stated that he wanted to score goals but had to perform his job.[I have to] Play a solid defense, make sure my linemates are safe, and forecheck every detail. Be aggressive and shoot for the puck. They will come in, I trust my instincts. At this moment, that's all I have to do. You don't have time to be doubtful. I need to find more lanes. Other than that, keep going.

Colorado relies on MacKinnon for his direction. It makes sense, doesn't it? MacKinnon has shown no signs of slowing down in the playoffs. He posted 11 goals and 20 point in 17 games, with a plus-11 rating and nearly 21 minutes per game. Jared Bednar repeatedly praised MacKinnon's ability to do it without trying to carry Colorado alone.

After Game 1, Bednar stated that he has a better understanding of the role of other players in our team's success. It doesn't have always be about him. This doesn't mean that he doesn’t carry a lot of weight. He does. He is aware he must drive, but he is also willing to help other people. [at that] he is a great role model for his fellow players.

MacKinnon achieved this feat despite facing top-line matchups all across the board. Bednar isn't afraid to put MacKinnon’s unit together with Gabriel Landeskog Valeri Nichushkin — Anybody, even Tampa Bay’s hard-core checking line. Anthony Cirelli.

On home ice, Colorado easily beat Cirelli's team. Early in Game 3, MacKinnon called Nichushkin back for a goal following an offside challenge. Had it been, momentum might have had an impact on how the game ended.

Bednar believes that MacKinnon is doing a great job of managing his assignments. Even though MacKinnon's coach stated after Game 3 that MacKinnon could be “much more” that night, this was not a criticism of his star's contributions overall. Yes, the Avalanche's top players must be their best. It's not just about goals and assists.

Bednar on Tuesday stated, “It's five on the ice.” “The fact that [MacKinnon's] It's not in the scoresheet in huge numbers every night [with] There is a lot of production. Look at his linemates, and the defensemen out on the ice. They are all playing well. They are driving play, I believe. He will soon realize that it is only a matter of time. He's not squeezing or doing anything wrong right now, I think. He's clearly playing his part. He's confident, and our team is certain that if that continues, he'll get rewarded.”

MacKinnon is not going to leave anything up to chance. MacKinnon was the man who stepped up to the ice for Colorado's optional practice on Tuesday. MacKinnon did some photography work with the team during their 30-minute session. J.T. Compher In a drill that was specific to the matchup. One guy held his stick out and the other tried a wrist shot on the net. This was to simulate how Lightning's skaters use their sticks to get in shooting lanes or block shots.

MacKinnon does not feel defeated. He is working to correct the problem. Tampa Bay's blocks-per-60 minute rate is fifth best among playoff teams this year (16.97), and they currently average 23.81 per 60 minutes in the Cup Final (compared against 15.54 for the Avalanche). MacKinnon is ready to tackle the challenge of circumventing this.

Bednar stated, “The last thing that you want to do is become frustrated, especially when you're being offered opportunities.” “Eventually they will come. As a player, there are no other options than to stay the course. You know that you are doing the right thing. You're creating chances, you're helping your linemates create chances. Just keep at it and keep going. You'll eventually break through.

Mikko Rantanen MacKinnon's strengths are obvious to anyone who can relate. After leading the Avalanche in scoring during regular season with 36 goals, 92 points, he saw his production stagnate at one goal through Colorado's first 10 playoff games.

Rantanen made a quick turnaround with four goals in just four games. Western Conference finals sweep This is EdmontonSince then, he has been buzzing. Rantanen predicts that MacKinnon would make a similar turnaround.

“I don't think that I need to add anything” [anything],” Rantanen said. He's a solid enough player. He knows what to play. He's doing well, and creating opportunities for others. We've all been there. At this point of the year, you do your best to help the team win. He is playing well. Everyone has to just keep at it.”

Colorado holds a slight advantage in the series despite the loss in Game 3. Colorado still has the chance to win this road trip in game 4. It would be possible to go back to Denver to hoist the Cup at home. Game 5 Friday

It doesn't really matter how many goals MacKinnon scored — or not — along the way. It takes a team effort to achieve the ultimate goal.

“This is incredible. After Game 3, MacKinnon stated that, “This is awesome. “This is the best thing we've ever waited for. We are playing the best team. They have won back to back [Cups]. We knew that they were too proud not to leave. We still feel good. “We feel great about our team from top to bottom.”

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