Coach’s Corner: Avalanche’s MacKinnon is best player in NHL right now

Ron MacLean and Don Cherry talk about the Maple Leafs and Bruins, Steve Yzerman being the new GM in Detroit and Jordan Binnington.

If Don Cherry were to hand out the Conn Smythe Trophy right now there would only be one candidate on his list: Colorado Avalanche star centre Nathan MacKinnon.

“This guy is the best player in the National Hockey League right now,” Cherry said on his Coach’s Corner segment during the first intermission of Game 5 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins Friday night. “[He’s] dominating and winning now – he’s like a horse. He sets up goals, he scores goals, he’s a horse like this. He’s the MVP right now of the National Hockey League.”

MacKinnon’s strong play of late is big reason why the Avalanche have the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed Calgary Flames on the brink of elimination right, now with three goals and five points through the four games Colorado’s battled with Calgary so far.

As good as MacKinnon has been, he only ranks tied for 11th in playoff scoring. Vegas Golden Knights teammates Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty are tied for the post-season lead with 10 points each.

Still though, Cherry might have a point, especially when you consider the fact that MacKinnon and the Avalanche have had to go up against a red-hot Mike Smith who has made 99 saves on the Avalanche over his past two games.

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