Kiszla vs. Chambers: Is it too late for Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon to jump into the MVP race?

Kiz: As everyone knows, I’m a lover not a fighter. But I will drop the gloves with any knucklehead that tries to tell me Avs center Nathan MacKinnon isn’t the best hockey player in the world. Anyone who saw Mack’s spectacular goal after an end-to-end rush against Las Vegas knows he’s the undisputed No. 1. Oh … wait. That amazing play happened after midnight on the East Coast, due to the Lake Tahoe sun delay. So my question: After missing time due to injury, is it too late for MacKinnon to get back in the MVP conversation and win the Hart Trophy during this compressed NHL season?

Chambers: COVID probably put MacKinnon back into the MVP race. After he suffered that mysterious injury Jan. 31 at Minnesota when he looked fine on his last shift of the second period but didn’t come out for the third, MacKinnon was labeled “week-to-week” with a lower-body injury. But just one game later, the Avalanche was shut down to COVID protocol, allowing MacKinnon to get healthy while the team was off. He was fortunate to miss just one game.

Kiz: In a world of look-at-me athletes, MacKinnon would rather go hang at a peaceful lake far away from the madding crowd. He is the definition of no fuss. But in a sport that often gets ignored throughout much of the United States unless an outdoor game grabs headlines (for better or worse), I do…

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