Avalanche players look forward to testing themselves against 'the best' in Edmonton's Connor McDavid

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon did not shy away from the reality facing his side in the Western Conference Finals – calling Edmonton Oilers poster boy Connor McDavid "the best".

To advance through to the Western Conference Finals, the Avalanche swept the Nashville Predators in the first round, and then handled the strong challenge of the St. Louis Blues to win the series 4-2.

For the Oilers, they were forced to go seven games against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, before making it look easier against the Calgary Flames, winning their second-round series 4-1.

MacKinnon is a star in his own right, seventh in the league in points per game (1.35), and the best player on the Western Conference's best team – but when asked about his side's plan to deal with reigning MVP McDavid, he said it would take more than one man.

"I'm not really thinking about [McDavid] a whole lot, but obviously I see that stuff," he said.

"I think he's the best, I've said it. I think he's been the best for a little bit now, and it's going to take a full team effort to stop him."

McDavid led the league in total points (123) and points per game (1.54), and has been named to the NHL First All-Star Team in four of his six seasons.

When he was asked about his side's plan to deal with MacKinnon, he opted to not mention his opposing star by name.

"They're a good team over there," he said. "I've learned that over the last couple of years.

"This year is no different. They've got some real good players, and they're really good all around."

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar was willing to dive a little deeper into what he thinks of the two stars.

"There's a lot of similarities between MacKinnon and McDavid," he said. "But at the same time, they're very different playing styles.

"McDavid's very good off the rush, and very fast, and he's got the quick steps right at the beginning.

"They're both such electric players, and McDavid's been the driving force for them as well as their other top guys.

"He'll be a good test, but we're all excited."

The man in charge of keeping McDavid off the scoresheet – Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper – said he was also looking forward to testing himself against the best.

"It's a fun challenge for sure," he said. "[McDavid] is an electric, dynamic player.

"He's creating every time he's on ice. Like [Makar] said, there's similarities between their games, but at the same time, they're different players. It's a fun challenge.

"You want to face the best players in the world, and we're looking forward to it."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting