Catch the Avs, if you can.
They’re furiously fast. They’re freakin’ good. And they know it.
“We feel like we can beat any team,” Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon told me Wednesday. “If we play our best, we feel like we can beat anybody, which is something we’ve never really felt before on this team.”
As MacKinnon plopped down at his locker, removing his practice gear, he was surrounded by hockey speed that can kill and talent Colorado has not enjoyed since Joe Sakic was skating instead of sitting in the team’s front office.
Led by MacKinnon, the world’s best hockey player on any given night, the big “A” on the team’s sweater is now surrounded by an unspoken but unmistakable “S,” “W” and “G.”
For the first time in a long time, the Avalanche hits the ice with the swag of talented players who have not only have arrived but are itching to knock down the door. I think it’s safe to say Colorado has never put a faster team on the ice. Despite a recent history that has not seen the franchise advance to the conference finals since the spring of 2002 (when MacKinnon was 6 years old), these young, upstart Avs are in a hurry to make some noise.
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“It’s good to be humble. But I think that whole ‘we haven’t done anything’ mentality isn’t a really good mentality to have. If you don’t think you can do something, you probably won’t,” MacKinnon said.
“I saw an inspirational movie that said, ‘You’ve got to know you’re good to be good.’ And we’ve got that swag.”
We all understand the NHL season is a long grind. If the Avs are to make the trip to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 19 years, it won’t be all sunshine. They will have to travel through slumps and snow, joust with Knights and fend off Predators.