The surprising success that the Colorado Avalanche have experienced this season is speeding up the clock on the Avalanche’s expectations for winning — not only in the regular season, but in the playoffs as well.
With a strong, young group of talented playmakers, a surprisingly stout defense, and led by a breakthrough All-Star in Nathan MacKinnon, the Avalanche seem to be on the right track when it comes to potential postseason success.
In an interview with Eric Goodman of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 and guest host Bruce Haertl, MacKinnon tells fans how soon they should expect that the Avalanche are Stanley Cup contenders.
“It just has to do with our success. If we go to the playoffs this season, make a run or win a round, it just changes that way. I’m sure you’ve heard Joe (Sakic) or Josh (Kroenke) reiterate that it’s going to take a little time,” MacKinnon said.
The young Avalanche center is on a tear, logging 20 goals and 34 assists on the year, coming on strong as a premium scorer for the Avalanche since the Matt Duchene trade on Nov. 5.
But even in the face of doubters who haven’t woken up to the new-look Avalanche, MacKinnon is optimistic about a turnaround that could see the Avalanche catapult themselves to the top echelon of Cup contenders.
“We’re extremely young and we have an extremely bright future, but I don’t think it’s going to take that long, personally. I’m really optimistic about the players we have and the players that are coming up. It’s a young league now; lots of parity and things can change quickly. Our team — this year to last year — big turnaround; a lot of young guys that are only going to get better. I can’t give you a year, but hopefully sooner than later.”
Click here to listen to the full interview with Nathan MacKinnon, including what he had to say about red-hot goaltender Jonathan Bernier, his personal improvement from last year to this year and more, or listen to the podcast below.
Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup. Download the all-new free Mile High Sports Radio mobile app for Apple or Android.