avalanche star nathan mackinnon gonna miss time

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It’s not the worst-case scenario for the Colorado Avalanche, but it’s certainly not the best-case scenario.

Superstar center Nathan MacKinnon left Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury and was ruled out before the game was over. The Avalanche ended up losing 5-3. Updating the media on Tuesday, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar indicated MacKinnon would be out at least a little while with the injury.

“The fact he’s leaving early in the game is not a good sign,” Bednar told Altitude Sports. “We know he’s gonna miss some time. Just don’t know how long.”

It’s better than having him immediately declared seriously injured or landing on LTIR right away, but it seems clear the injury will cost MacKinnon some games going forward.

The exact cause of MacKinnon’s injury isn’t known, but he seemed to be in some pain after a blocking a shot – and taking a hit – both from the Flyers’ Scott Laughton in the first period.

A significant injury absence for MacKinnon, 27, would pile on to an unbelievable run of bad luck for the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Avs are currently without Gabriel Landeskog (knee), Valeri Nichushkin (ankle), Josh Manson (lower-body), Artturi Lehkonen (upper-body), Evan Rodrigues (lower-body) and Bowen Byram (undisclosed), not to mention several other role players.

MacKinnon was his usual dominant self prior to the injury, racking up 34 points through 23 games. He has been a true superstar over his past six seasons, compiling 476 points in 361 games, good for 108 points per 82 games. Yet the combination of injuries and COVID-shortened seasons have conspired to keep him from hitting 100 points in his career, topping out at 99. This season, he’s again tracking for well north of 100. Will another injury absence keep him from hitting the milestone yet again?

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