Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen comprise the top line for the Colorado Avalanche.
Before, when I mentioned Sakic, Forsberg and Kamensky it was with a reverence that I thought would never be matched. There are such wonderful parallels with the current top line. One guy is Swedish, one Canadian. There’s the strong, unconventional force (Forsberg, MacKinnon). There’s the Captain, the steady playmaker that quietly makes it all happen (Sakic, Landeskog). There’s also the wildly talented LW that holds his own with the big boys (Kamensky, Rantanen).
MacKinnon should win the Hart trophy. Going from 48 points to 95 should by itself justify the award. He’s among the league leaders in scoring. In a late-season game with the Coyotes, Landeskog took a big, open-ice hit from Jordan Martinook. MacKinnon did not hesitate to drop his gloves and extract a bit of justice on Martinook. It was an unremarkable play, even earning Mac the extra two for instigating (roughing). The significance was in how quickly this squad has engaged the fan base. Erasing last year’s debacle and the bad taste of Matt Duchene’s exit was a tall order. Jared Bednar and the Avalanche took it in-stride and scrapped their way into this year’s postseason.
An amazing turnaround led by the top line.