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MacKinnon: Avs need to show ‘more poise’ in Minnesota

Apr 28, 2014, 12:58 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

To say the Avs had a tough go of things in Minnesota for Games 3 and 4 of their opening round series would be a major understatement.

Colorado lost both games, scoring once, and put a mere 34 shots on goal — including just 12 in the Game 4 loss — as the Wild rallied from 2-0 down to even the series. Now, heading back to Xcel for Game 6, Nathan MacKinnon thinks he knows how to solve his team’s road woes.

“We have to play with a little more poise,” MacKinnon said, per the Denver Post. “We were rushing plays. Other than the crowd, everything’s the same. We have to get off to a better start, that’s for sure.”

A better start is definitely key. The Avs were out-shot 36-11 in the two opening periods in Minnesota, though that disparity was mitigated by the fact the Wild only scored one first-period marker in the two games. Colorado’s biggest issue, it seemed, was getting quality chances on rookie netminder Darcy Kuemper who, at one point, had a shutout streak of 110 minutes and allowed just one goal on his first 48 shots faced.

When the games have been played at the Pepsi Center, the Avs have been dynamic offensively. They’ve gone for 13 goals, most of which have come from the red-hot MacKinnon-Paul StastnyGabriel Landeskog line — and tonight, head coach Patrick Roy expects the trio to carry the team once again, but this time in hostile territory.

“I’m not guaranteeing any results, but we know how it’s going to be over there,” he said. “We know how their fans are going to react, we know how they’re going to play. There aren’t going to be any surprises. If they beat us, they beat us.”

“We’re going to have to play the exact same way we did (Saturday).”

  1. imleftcoast - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Take a page out of the Broncos playbook.

  2. kander013 - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Play the same way as Saturday? You mean with the refs being Colorado’s top line all night?

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      Ya I have never witnessed such biased officiating

  3. Jeff - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    “Other than the crowd, everything’s the same.”

    if this is a true statement, then start grouping the NHL along side boxing in the category of “influenced” sporting events

  4. earpaniac - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Never seen such biased officiating? It wasn’t the greatest, but I take it you don’t remember “Baader and Worse”? Lol

  5. jaydynamite - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    I’m a neutral fan enjoying this series. the refs had made bad calls all over this series. Does anybody else remember game 2? The refs blew the offside call that negated the Parenteau empty net goal. The Wild scored on the ensuing play to make it one goal game. Then MacKinnon was held by Spurgeon before he shrugged him off to feed Statsny for the eventual nail in the coffin. Sounds a lot like game 5.

  6. davekillercarlson - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Bad calls and missed calls have been going both ways this series. The only difference is the Avs have been able to play through it and win games. The missed offside call that lead to the tying goal in game 4 was only part of the play. The wild had the opportunity to clear the rebound, tie up PA, or Keumper could have made the save. None of that happened.

    • davekillercarlson - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      err game 5.

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