The Colorado Avalanche’s problems don’t start and end with reigning Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon, but on a team that has averaged just 2.22 goals per contest, his nine-game goal scoring drought has stood out. Especially seeing as it fans the fears that MacKinnon might be the latest player to experience a sophomore slump.
“I think that’s a bunch of crap,” Matt Duchene told the Denver Post. “If he just keeps skating and working hard, he’s going to get one fluky goal and it is going to take off from there.”
Plus it’s worth noting that MacKinnon only had one goal in his first 12 games last season and still ended up with 24 markers. Of course the circumstances were different back then. MacKinnon was getting used to playing in the NHL and was being eased into the lineup. He averaged just 13:33 minutes per game in October 2013.
Additionally, the Avalanche were off to a great start, so whether or not MacKinnon was finding the back of the net wasn’t a primary concern. All the same, his teammates don’t think that MacKinnon is someone they need to worry about now.
“When you watch him out there, he is working hard and he is hunting pucks and he is still getting us points,” Jamie McGinn said. “He hasn’t scored, but he is doing all the little things right for this team. That’s what we need out of him right now. He’s such a great talent that when he gets one, they’re all going to come.”
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy also believes that it’s just a matter of time before MacKinnon ends his goal scoring slump.
In the meantime, MacKinnon has four assists and a minus-six rating in nine games this season.