I don’t know about you but I am shocked by none of this.
This interview with Nikita Zadorov was all over Twitter last night and he talked a bit about what it’s like to play with Nathan MacKinnon, one of the greatest hockey players on the planet. Read that little excerpt above, it’s real interesting.
Also it’s not shocking in the least to me. Nate isn’t one of the best players by just luck. The guy works his bag off to play at the elite level he does. The guy is an absolute beast on the ice because he’s dedicated his life to playing better and trying to win the Cup. He talked in his interview with Spittin Chiclets (which is a must listen/watch) about why he changed his diet and habits early in his career and you can see clear as day in his career stats how much it helped him improve. So no surprise he would want his teammates to do the same. Nate has, at times, carried the Avs on his back but at the end of the day, hockey isn’t a one-man game. It’s a team sport.
And that’s what it all boiled down to. He doesn’t do this without reason. He wants his team to get better and to win. That starts with eating better and making smart choices off the ice. Then when it comes to practice, they’re not gonna play better or learn if every single time they fuck up he’s like “hey that’s okay, try better next time”. That coddling doesn’t work. When it comes to gametime, you can’t slip up. Lord knows this guy and the other long time Avs have seen small mistakes cost them seasons time and time and time again. So if at practice you’re not perfecting those things, then they’re gonna go wrong in the game. Plus in said Chiclets interview from before, Nate literally acknowledges that he’s a hothead. No shame there because God knows I am too but I was so confused as to why people were shocked by this.
That’s exactly how Michael Jordan (who I love and respect) was and look at him. I think it’s fair to make the comparison-although I don’t think Nate would punch a teammate. MJ struggled with the Bulls before he found that success. They came close so many times before their team finally filled out and they couldn’t stop winning. I mean we all watched the Last Dance (if you didn’t you’re.a pigeon, it’s on Netflix), sometimes you gotta be a hard ass to create success.
I still think Nate MacKinnon is one of the nicest people to walk the planet. He takes his job seriously and he wants to win, he wants his teammates to win. He took less money so Colorado could keep their players. He’s a nice Canadien boy but he takes his job extra serious and he’s got a short fuse. Who gives a fuck. No shit he doesn’t want them eating junk food and switched out the pasta for a healthier one. He’s a leader with the Avalanche, he’s a professional hockey player. Power to him, kid is going to have his name on the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe for a reason. That rat that wrote a Deadspin article can fight me at Rough and Rowdy. Nate’s a nice human being, he’s just got that edge. So keep chucking knucks and buckets, Nate Dogg. I got yo back.
Now I’ll leave you with my favorite hothead Dogg moments:
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