Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon will miss the next three games at a minimum, after taking a hit from Boston Bruins forward Taylor Hall in Wednesday night’s contest, per Head Coach Jared Bednar. This will effectively shut down the Central Division All-Star Game Captain until the all-star break, and his nod is in jeopardy.
The hit, which can be seen below, shows Hall lining up MacKinnon for an open ice hit. As contact is made, Hall makes contact with MacKinnon’s stick, causing MacKinnon to whack himself in the face with his stick. The result of the play left MacKinnon with a facial fracture, as well as a concussion. Hall was initially given a match penalty on the play, but had it reduced to a two-minute minor for interference.
The Taylor Hall hit on Nathan MacKinnon: pic.twitter.com/1oqsMp7CFn— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) January 27, 2022
It’s a tough blow for the Avalanche, who are 13-0-1 in the month of January, and hold the top seed in the Western Conference. For the Nova Scotian star, he’s enjoying himself another explosive season, with nine goals and 34 assists for 43 points in only 31 games. Fellow all-star, Nazem Kadri, figures to be MacKinnon’s replacement on the top line. Kadri, who’s enjoying a career year in his own right, (16-39-55) will now get a few games in between Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, which could mean potential for more offensive output than he’s already emitted on the second line.
The Avalanche are in Chicago to face the Blackhawks tonight, and will then head home for games against the Buffalo Sabres, and Arizona Coyotes. The Avalanche won’t play again until February 9th, when the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town, and with his all-star participation still in the air, we’ll have to wait until an announcement is made, before speculating on MacKinnon’s readiness for the second half of the regular season.