The Colorado Avalanche have the best record in the NHL this season. They are 31-8-3, for 63 points. That's tied with the Florida Panthers for the most in the league, but Colorado has a couple games in hand. On Wednesday night, the team was dealt a tough blow, as center Nathan MacKinnon left the game bloodied after taking a big hit from Boston Bruins' Taylor Hall.
Nathan MacKinnon left the game after this open-ice hit from Taylor Hall and has not returned to the Avs bench.
Hall was assessed a two-minute minor. Do you agree?
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) January 27, 2022
MacKinnon was helped off of the ice. Early during the first period, MacKinnon looked for a break up the ice and was crushed by Hall, who landed a shoulder to his upper body. MacKinnon's own stick flung up into his face, leaving him bloody. Hall was whistled for a two-minute minor penalty on the play.
He is considered day-to-day with an upper body injury.
MacKinnon is once again having a solid season for Colorado. He has nine goals, 34 assists and 15 power play points. However, his goal-scoring prowess has been in decline overall over the last few years. He scored a career-high 41 goals during the 2018-2019 season, followed by 35 the next year.
Last season, he scored 20 goals and has nine this season. A part of the dip in production is due to injury and shortened seasons. Nevertheless, he is no longer one of the best goal scorers in the league.
That has not hampered the team's success though. After a disappointing season last year, the Avalanche are primed for a deep playoff run. Colorado is led by captain Gabriel Landeskog, Nazem Kadri, Mikko Rantanen and MacKinnon offensively. Darcy Kuemper has played outstanding this season in net. All that has led to the Avalanche being the favorite in Vegas to win the Stanley Cup this season.