MacKinnon is getting a love from the media.
Nathan MacKinnon is 18 years old, and he has already mastered the art of NHL patter: the essential dressing room lingo, the verbal shorthand every hockey player must possess, even an 18-year-old hockey player — even a mere rookie like Nathan MacKinnon — to survive in the big leagues.
When he is gabbing about his older teammates on the Colorado Avalanche, such as Paul Stastny and Gabriel Landeskog, they are not Mister So-and-So, or Paul or Gabriel. They are “Paulie” and “Landy.” His coach, the legendary Patrick Roy, arguably the greatest goaltender — ever — is “Patty.”
Tack a “y” or an “ie” or an “s” onto a name and even a mere rookie, like Nathan MacKinnon, can talk his way around the league, sure enough, but it is when the talk gets around to him that the rules no longer apply. He is not Natty or Nats or Macky. He is the Kid, to his teammates. One of whom, P.A. Parenteau, gushed gloriously about the Kid after he scored an overtime goal on Saturday night to beat the Minnesota Wild and give the Avalanche a 3-2 series lead.
“The Kid’s special,” Mr. Parenteau said. “This is the Kid we want on our side.”
Thirty Thoughts had some interesting points about the Cooke suspension.
26. The lawyer in me thinks the reason Matt Cooke didn't get more than seven games is because no one's ever been banned for, say, 20 because of kneeing. The closest recent example I could find is Kevin Porter, suspended four games in 2011 for a knee-on-knee to David Booth. It's not a satisfactory reason, I know, but the appeals process means legality is a big part of it.27. So, who exactly qualifies as a repeat offender? The phrase appears in section 18.15 of the CBA, which discusses how much money a player loses if suspended. It states pretty clearly that this status "shall be re-determined every eighteen (18) months." However, in commissioner Gary Bettman's defence of Patrick Kaleta's suspension, he wrote, "Nothing in Article 18 limits the League's right to consider suspensions that occurred more than eighteen (18) months earlier in determining the number of games for which a Player should be suspended for a subsequent offence."28. Bettman followed with, "Moreover, I note that the Union's notice of appeal does not challenge Mr. Shanahan's consideration of the prior (2009, 2011 and March 2103) suspensions of Mr. Kaleta in determining the quantum of discipline here." In Wednesday's Matt Cooke suspension video, it was stated "Cooke is not considered a repeat offender under the CBA," but adds "Cooke has been fined or suspended nine previous times during his 15-season NHL career." Lots of tightrope-walking on this one.
With the Minnesota Wild forcing a seventh game, things must be getting a little spooky for Patrick Roy.
In 2003, Roy was in net for the Colorado Avalanche as the upstart Wild won Game 6 and sent the series back to Denver. That deciding game went to overtime, where Andrew Brunette won it at 3:25 of the extra period.
It would be the 3,130th - and last NHL goal Roy would allow as he announced his retirement soon after and was fast-tracked into the Hall of Fame. As coach, Roy has been instrumental in getting his team back among the NHL elite in a hurry. But that ‘03 Colorado team was also in the series’ driver’s seat before Minnesota came off the mat down 3-1.
The Wild, with Zach Parise battling Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff scoring lead, are now bidding to become the most successful playoff team of the ‘final four’ who joined the NHL at the turn of the last century. If they can get past the Avs, it would be their third post-season series to move one ahead of Nashville. Columbus is 0-for-2, while Winnipeg, then the Atlanta Thrashers, was swept in its only series in 2007.