The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television and live streaming information included.
• Four games on the Friday schedule, including the Avalanche who look to take a commanding 3-0 lead against the Blues.
• Want to catch up on each night’s action in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Read the NHL Playoff Buzzer.
Conventional wisdom says that scoring in the Stanley Cup Playoffs should be more difficult for the average NHL player.
You are playing better competition, the game gets officiated differently, defenses are tighter, and everything is more intense.
But Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon is not your average, run-of-the-mill NHL player, and he has not only found no problem producing offense in his brief postseason career, his production has actually skyrocketed. He and the Avalanche are back in action for Game 3 of their First Round series against the Blues on Friday night (9:30 p.m. ET, USA Network) as they look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
MacKinnon has already been one of the major stars of the 2021 playoffs with his seven points (including five goals) through the first two games of their matchup with the Blues. When you go back to the start of the 2019-20 playoffs (where the Avs reached the Second Round) he now has 32 points in his past 17 playoff games, nearly averaging two points per game. For his career, he is at 1.45 per game in the playoffs, a significant jump over his 0.98 average during the regular season.
[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 First Round schedule, TV info]
How productive has he been in the playoffs?
Since MacKinnon’s rookie season (2013-14 season) his 1.45 point per game postseason average is by far the highest number in the league.
He is one of only 10 players that have averaged at least a point per game.
He is the only player that has averaged more than 1.24 points per game, while the closest player to him (teammate Mikko Rantanen) has averaged only 1.23 points per game. Leon Draisaitl (1.22) and Brayden Point (1.17) are the only other players that have averaged more than 1.10 per game.
So, yeah. He is on a level all to himself right now come playoff time.
He also has seven-game winning goals during that stretch (including two already this postseason) which places him just one behind Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Patrick Kane (all with eight game winning goals) since the start of the 2013-14 postseason. What makes that even more impressive is all three players have appeared in at least 20 additional playoff games, including Johnson and Palat who have both played in more than 50 playoff games. He averages a game-winning goal every six games in the playoffs.
Through the first two games of their First Round series the Blues have not come close to finding answer for him. If they do not, this series is going to be over very quickly. Finding an answer for MacKinnon, though, is a lot easier said than done.
[NBC 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
TODAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 4: Capitals at Bruins (BOS leads 2-1) 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Game 3: Hurricanes at Predators (CAR leads 2-0) 7 p.m. ET – USA Network (livestream)
Game 2: Jets at Oilers (WPG leads 1-0) 9 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Game 3: Avalanche at Blues (COL leads 2-0) 9:30 p.m. ET – USA Network (livestream)
SATURDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 4: Panthers at Lightning (TB leads 2-1) 12:30 p.m. ET – CNBC (livestream)
Game 4: Penguins at Islanders (PIT leads 2-1) 3 p.m. ET – NBC (livestream)
Game 2: Canadiens at Maple Leafs (MTL leads 1-0) 7 p.m. ET – CNBC (livestream)
Game 4: Golden Knights at Wild (VGK leads 2-1) 8 p.m. ET – NBC (livestream)
PHT’s 2021 Stanley Cup previews
• Penguins vs. Islanders
• Bruins vs. Capitals
• Jets vs. Oilers
• Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens
• Lightning vs. Panthers
• Hurricanes vs. Predators
• Golden Knights vs. Wild
• Avalanche vs. Blues
• Stanley Cup playoff predictions
• Why your team can (and can not) win the Stanley Cup this season
• NHL odds: Division winners, 2021 Stanley Cup champion
• Which NHL playoff series has biggest upset potential?
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.