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MacKinnon: Avs ‘shut ourselves down’ in Game 3, not Wild

Apr 24, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche in action against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 4, 2014 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Avalanche 5-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Avalanche didn’t score a goal in Monday’s Game 3 loss to Minnesota — the first time they’ve been shut out since Mar. 21 — and rookie sensation Nathan MacKinnon thinks he knows why.

“It wasn’t them that shut us down. I think it was us that shut ourselves down,” MacKinnon said, per the Denver Post. “They played hard, but for us it was more what we weren’t doing than what they were doing.

“We got away from what made us successful.”

Monday’s 1-0 defeat was a stark change of pace for MacKinnon and the Avs. Colorado racked up nine goals in the opening two games of the series, sparked by the MacKinnon-Paul Stastny-Gabriel Landeskog line which combined for six points and 17 points in a pair of wins at the Pepsi Center.

But two mitigating factors from the opening contests are no longer in play. One, games are now being played at the Xcel Energy Center, where Minnesota went 26-10-5 this season. Two, Ilya Bryzgalov is no longer in goal, and he’s the guy the Avs torched for all nine of those goals.

Darcy Kuemper, the guy that replaced Byrzgalov, has been perfect in over 90 minutes of action thus far, stopping all 36 shots while recording the first postseason shutout in Wild franchise history. He also helped silence the Colorado power play on Monday, as the Avs went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

In trying to correct that issue, the Avs are looking inward as well. While Patrick Roy acknowledged the good work Minnesota’s done on the kill — “they’re doing a really good job, and putting a lot of pressure on our forwards,” he said — the Avs head coach also thinks his players are holding back a bit.

“We’re going to try to move that puck quicker,” he explained. “Sometimes, when you’re practicing, guys are afraid to put shots on net. We’re going to try to put more shots on net and have more traffic and make it a little tougher for their goalie.”

  1. clarke16 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    LOL! Can you say *bulletin board material*? What a punk. I bet Roy drops a pimp-slap on the youngster for this one…

    • jernster21 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      You’re an idiot. LOL!

    • alicesrightfootesq - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      I guarantee you Roy believes the same thing.

    • southstands1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      If a team needs “bulletin board material” at this stage of the season, that team is probably in trouble anyways.

      MacKinnon is 18 and said what he thought…now he has to put up or shut up. As an Avalanche fan, I have no issues with what he said…but I do expect him to deliver.

  2. getadealdonealready - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Whatever you need to tell yourself rookie, bottom line Avs haven’t scored a single goal on Kuemper, and have been outplayed in at least 7 of the 11 periods of the series.

    • southstands1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      I agree that Kuemper has been fantastic. Colorado needs to step up their game for sure. I expect Roy to have them ready, but I expect a heck of a hockey game tonight.

      Nothing like playoff hockey!

    • getadealdonealready - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      On second thought rookie you are right, and looks like you shut yourselves down in game 4, here’s to hoping you continue to do that for 2 more games. Just glad my wild were lucky enough to be there for it.

  3. hosewater2 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Keep your mouth shut rook.

    • slickluke - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      He’s a rook but better than your whole team…

      • hosewater2 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        He’s a great player, he’s a rookie, he needs to learn to keep his mouth shut with these comments so as not to motivate the other team.

        Do you understand? Could you explain it back to me just to be sure?

  4. stcrowe - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    I suppose it is better than admitting that the other team, or their goalie, was just better on that given night.

  5. joey4id - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    clarke16 is right about one thing; this is *bulletin board material*. Big time! This will be another teachable moment between coach and rookie….. unless…. Roy told the kid to say that. Hmmm!! It wouldn’t surprise me if he did. Roy has a few tricks up his sleeves. We was a master of quotes and tricks of all sorts in the NHL and junior.

  6. welch3319 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    LOL … THIS ROOK has all the right to say anything for the way he’s been playing. Wild Fans might talk about they’re home record, but the AVS have an identical record on the road. WE’LL just have to see after tonight who gets to talk! Godd Luck boys! GO AVS GO!

  7. mackattack29 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    It’s really true. I think when the wild came out playing so dirty the avs were waiting for the refs to step in and when they condoned what the wild were doing it really threw them off their game. I’ve never missed an avs game and I’ve never seen them play that badly and disorganized. Any team ahl or nhl could have beaten them in game 3. Kuemper made no hard stops and the wild were given all of their chances uncontested. Cuz the wild really aren’t even on the same level as colorado, when the avs are on their game.

    • getadealdonealready - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      ma29 – oh boy funny how felt that was dirty play. Tells me you don’t understand the game well, hands down the dirtiest play of the series so far is Johnson hits to a defenseless ZP’s head.

      The NHL has put themselves in a bit of a box, as they have shown they value a knee over a players head (i.e. 3 games for Seabrook on Backes, multiple other hits to head going unpenalized) What scares me most not as a fan of one team, but a fan of the game, is when the Concussion Lawsuit comes calling they don’t have NFL money to buy silence, so it may mean the end to the game we all love. It’s not if there is a lawsuit, it’s when, and I don’t think the NHL is taking the hits to the head seriously right now.

      • mackattack29 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        The hilarious thing was that when the avs had their worst game of the year the wild couldn’t even score 1 goal in regulation… just unbelievable lol.

    • findthetwine - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Hahahhahahhahahahaha, that’s good. The brilliance of your post has me convinced the Wild shouldn’t be on the same ice as the Avs! Solid excuse making. Bottom line, no questions asked… The wild have dominated 7 of 11 periods. Dominated pick possession and zone time.

      You’re right about one thing. Last game was a fluke. Should/could have been a 4-5 goal game if not for Varlamov.

    • findthetwine - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      you are absolutely delusional… keep prepping those excuses, you’ll need em. Every team in the West is fantastic. Your claim of “wild really aren’t even on the same level.” Is just, well, idiotic. No need to continue an argument when you (quite apparently) have no knowledge of the game… Stack up the rosters, do a match-up analysis… With a little reasoning you may be surprised with the results you find.

      Go Wild.

  8. purpleguy - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    At least the Avs coach has had the class publicly to admit the Wild played better Monday night (maybe he says something different behind closed doors). Mackinnon’s team had 3 periods and one over-time to “get back to what made them successful” on Monday night — and they didn’t. The thing is, the Monday night game played out the same way the stat geeks have been ripping the Avs all year — poor puck possession and too much reliance upon goaltending. Maybe the Avs are the better team, and maybe the Avs win the series, but at least have the gonads to give the other team some credit for beating the Avs the exact way they should.

    • southstands1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      I hear you purpleguy…I don’t think MacKinnon was intentionally dissing the Wild, though it came across like that. I think he was saying that they can’t worry about what the Wild are doing and have to get back to what they need to do.

      All credit to Minnesota though…they executed in game three perfectly. As an Av’s fan, you know I’m hopeing that changes tonight!

  9. welch3319 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    You Wild Fans will find out soon enough! Still thinking you have chance after one game ! LMFAO.

    • southstands1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      Easy there welch…this Wild team has the tools to beat the Avalanche. If Colorado can’t put the puck on net, it could be us Avalanche fans that are “finding out” something about our team.

      I’m just saying, slow down the chatter and throw out some respect for the series. Playoff hockey is a very turbulent thing…Colorado needs to take care of business and not take this series to a best of three. Pressure is very much on our team right now.

      • getadealdonealready - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        Southstands1 – Much respect, you have a talented group of young players that stand to have many good runs in them. I appreciate your input, however I’d say even with a loss tonight, you still have 2 home games left so while not ideal to make it a best of 3, ball is still in your court.

        While initially I was not a fan of the new playoff format, this first round has been more exciting than any I can remember before, and laying the ground work for some heated rivalries heading forward. Here’s hoping for a good rest of the series!

    • findthetwine - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Welch… What are we going to find out? Are you insinuating that game three was a complete ‘one off’ and the Avs have thoroughly dominated the rest of the series? I guess my blind homerism must be telling me otherwise… It’s looked like two very good teams going back and forth, at times the Avs have held the play, at other times the Wild have held the play. Have I missed something? Do you have some statistical analysis that backs up your apparent knowledge of how much better Colorado is? If so, I’d love to see it. Hell, if you have it, I won’t even tune in tonight since apparently the series is over anyway.

  10. welch3319 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Like you guys gave us credit for the first 2 games! STFU with that!

  11. welch3319 - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Ok answer me this then…. if it was St . Louis up 2-1 and Ryan Miller just stoped 47 shots in a game 3 against Minny , would you still say you’re better then St . Louis? ? No cause its St.Louis and they were in the playoffs a year ago. But Its Colorado and weve never been here before, even tho we were 3 points out of first in the Western Conference. Look maybe we’ll never get credit… the media thought we were gonna slow down after our winning streak but we didnt. Maybe thats just how its gonna be after a loss in the playoffs, idk other tham I’m giving my AVS credit and telling them they’re not the same team as they were last year. GO AVS GO!

    • getadealdonealready - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      I think Col and St. Louis is not a fair comparison, two very different style of teams. I have been a fan of this game for a long time, and I don’t remember in all my years a team that is consistently outshot and outplayed for big parts of games that can continue to win at a high clip for extended period of time. The Avs did it the entire regular season, and the first 2 games of the series, maybe it will continue, but from someone who has seen a lot of hockey the law of averages tells me the more quality looks a team gets the better chance they have of scoring. Maybe your Avs will prove me wrong for this series. I think long term as this group of talent matures they could be really good, but right now they don’t strike fear in opponents. They haven’t shown that they have more than 1 line that can create offense, granted not having MD is a big loss, I guess we will see how this series plays out.

    • getadealdonealready - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:18 AM

      Welch – there is your answer if you want respect from the media outside of Co your squad needs to get into Double Digit shot totals.

  12. welch3319 - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    True, True!

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