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Morning Flurries: Nathan MacKinnon out for precautionary reasons

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Is he injured? For how long? Questions to be answered today...

Nashville Predators v Colorado Avalanche
DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 07: Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche brings the puck out from behind the goal against the Nashville Predators in the second period at the Pepsi Center on November 07, 2019 in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Avalanche

After scoring a goal and picking up three assists in a four-point night, Nathan MacKinnon did not return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup for the third period under what was described as an upper-body injury. It’s a real shame that he had to leave the game, he was having a wail of a night.

After the game, head coach Jared Bednar made it clear that MacKinnon was kept out as a precaution. The team was up 8-3 heading into the third period, maybe MacKinnon will be fine for Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets?

There was speculation that the injury came from an errand stick that caught MacKinnon in the mouth. Such a story would match the upper-body injury information provided by the team. MacKinnon didn’t leave until the end of the second period, so whatever it was, it’s definitely something he can play through. Hopefully more light gets shed at practice today.

Here is the recap from Colorado’s dominant 9-4 victory over the Nashville Predators. It was a massively entertaining game. [Mile High Hockey]

It looked like the Avalanche were on the precipice of falling into the familiar hole of despair which had plagued them over five game losing streak but at 5:26 with some hard work in front of the net Joonas Donskoi kick-started an explosion of offense. That eruption amounted to four unanswered goals in 2:21 of time off the clock and six total in eight minutes, which was good for an Avalanche record.

Also injured in the game was Nikita Zadorov, who also suffered an upper-body injury. Zadorov was not taken out as a precaution and is likely out for at least tomorrow’s game against Columbus. He joins MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Philipp Grubauer on the injured reserve. So a top-four defenseman, the starting goalie, and arguably the best line in hockey all out. Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool.

Speaking of Grubauer, while he’s out, Pavel Francouz and Adam Werner are the tandem. While it’s scary to only have the backup and third stringer left, Cat Silverman notes that the Avalanche are better off than we might think. [Mile High Hockey]

Pavel Francouz, of course, has been a shining star all on his own. He’s managed a .919 save percentage in all situations through his four games played thus far, allowing just 11 goals on 135 shots — which averages out to a little under 34 pucks faced per game. Given his high volume workload in each game, the NHL rookie goaltender has managed to adapt incredibly quickly to the best league in the world.

The League

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Buffalo Sabres are in Stockholm, Sweden to play two games in the NHL’s Global Series starting today at noon, MT. Victor Hedman and Rasmus Dahlin face off (not actually, both are defensemen) in their home country in front of friends, family, and their fellow countrymen. The players have been getting hyped for the games all week so hopefully we get some good hockey out of it.

The AHL marked its 83rd birthday yesterday!

The Winnipeg Jets have yet more gruesome injury news to pass along from their roster.

And the Mighty Ducks are returning, but to the small screen on Disney+ as a reboot! [Anaheim Calling]

In January of 2018, The Hollywood Reporter detailed a plan to bring the Mighty Ducks franchise to TV, reviving a cultural icon that helped launch the fandom of millions of kids and serve as the inspiration for Disney to bring a new expansion NHL franchise to Anaheim.