When any player scores six points in two playoff games (and three in each respective contest), people get excited. When that guy is 18 years old and those two postseason contests rank as his first two games, the praise gets downright bold.
Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that Colorado Avalanche wunderkind Nathan MacKinnon inspired Jeremy Roenick to throw the words “Hall of Famer” and “more dominant than Sidney Crosby” around. Roenick specifically compared MacKinnon, 18, favorably to Sidney Crosby when he was at the same age:
Out of curiosity, let’s take a look at what MacKinnon and Crosby did in their rookie years.
MacKinnon (2013-14): 24 goals and 64 points (+20 rating) in 82 games played.
Crosby (2005-06): 39 goals and 102 points in 81 games played (-1).
Of course, it was easier to hit 100 points during that 2005-06 campaign, so context might help. MacKinnon’s 64 points tied him for 34th in the NHL’s leading scorers while Crosby finished sixth in his season. Of course, Roenick would almost certainly counter with this: MacKinnon’s seven points already top the five Crosby scored in five playoff games during his second season in the league.
It’s one of those highly subjective discussions that can go around in circles, but the bottom line is that they’re both outstanding and that the Avalanche seem to have a special player in MacKinnon. (Is he the best rookie since Crosby? Well, there are plenty of talented players who would have something to say about that, including Crosby’s teammate Evgeni Malkin.)
In case you’re wondering, Roenick had 18 points in 20 regular season games as a teenager with the Chicago Blackhawks (and four points in 10 games that 1989 postseason), so he knows a thing or two about prodigies.
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not: