VANCOUVER – He gets angry first, and then he smiles. Yes, Nathan McKinnon is so good he can have both.
The Colorado Avalanche superstar, the best player in Saturday's game even before he got angry, went overtime and suited goalkeeper Thatcher Demko to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 at the Rogers Arena.
McKinnon nearly lost his mind in the third period, after teammate Matt Calvert nearly lost his head, which was hit by Elias Peterson's blow when the Canaks attacked six-of-five while trailing 4-2.
Because Calvert lay bleeding and motionless on the ice, with Patterson initially hovering near him to see if he was OK, Justices St Justin Pierre and Garrett Rank allowed the game to continue and Canax scored six-on-four at 17:23 when the rookie Superior. Quince Hughes' diagonal accessory was directed by Alex Edler who scored 4-3.
Also on the ice, McKinnon shouted at each officer, then slammed Calvert's abandoned stick through the ice. McKinnon's mood did not improve when Kanaks scored another goal with Demko on the bench to tie it with a minute left and force overtime. Brock Bosser pulled a goal back from Peterson's shot and missed the last of the Antoine Bibau Avalanche net to level it 4-4.
McKinnon channeled his anger and executed his will overtime. Aided by the mild choice of defender Chris Tanev, McKinnon blasted past Canuck forward J.T. Miller before hitting a knee on the left side of Demko for the second goal and the third point of the night for the avalanche star.
"I just felt great," McKinnon said of Canax's return. "It didn't really feel like earning a tie. I just didn't feel like playing overtime. I'm sure everyone felt just like me; I just wanted to stop it as soon as possible. I wanted to interrupt the first change and look forward to what I did. "
McKinnon was quiet by the time he spoke to reporters, but his conviction that the game should have been halted by injury to Calvert's head was weakened. Earlier this month, Colorado defender Nikita Zadorov suffered a broken jaw when hit by her pussy and also had to deal with the bench on the bench, bleeding as the game went on.
"I think that's not the case," McKinnon said. "Even Patterson looked at Calvi and you could tell he was wondering, which was very elegant of him. Not Kanakis's fault. No mistake of deductions. That's just the rule for the league. The chains wanted to tear it down. It's just silly that they can't.
"The guy is lying there, bleeding the side of his head. And that's Matt Calvert; he is such a tough man, he does not look for a whistle and does not lie to him. If disconnected from the foot, let it lie there. A broken foot, it is serious, but it will be fine. But a bleeding boy by the ear? That's pretty dangerous.
"When you look at somebody's head getting involved, I think you just have to call for judgment. "Common sense is. I just can't see any other sport letting that happen – a man lying there bleeding."
Kanax sympathized with McKinnon.
Two weeks ago in San Jose, Vancouver defender Ashton Souter broke his head after breaking late into the boards of shark defenders Brendan Dillon. Then the game was also allowed to continue and Sautner had to fight on his feet and roll 120 meters on the bench before leaving the game with a head injury.
Play the Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool presented by RAM for your chance to drive the RAM 1500 Sport by 2020 or win cash prizes! FREE and easy to play!
"You have to play to the whistle, but you never want to see someone lying on the ice sick, whether it's your team or their team," Edler said after Canaks escaped with a loser. "I think we should have called. One might say, 'Will anyone go and try to get a whistle without getting hurt?' But obviously (Calvert) was injured there. "
Canax captain Bo Horvat said: "It's hard to even comment. You never want to see someone injured. You never want to see a man lying there on the ice. So it's a tough call to refuse. You still want to score a goal; it's a crucial time in the game. If it blows up, we don't score that goal. “
Avalanche coach Aredad Bednar did not offer a medical report on Calvert.
"We're talking about head injuries and. . . it's the second time now in two weeks a guy has to go in the face and bleed through the ice and we let him go, "Bednar said. "He doesn't move there, so I think we have to get him dead, but sometimes it's a tough call to make because you're trying to play and see if he'll stop, but I think in the end you just have to shoot dead. “
The Canucks looked dead after McKinnon reduced control of Tanner Pearson and blocked a beautiful goalkeeper turn that Andre Burakowski converted to make it 4-2 at 6:09 of the third period.
But Vancouver, who got two goals from Adam Gaudet to stay in the game, desperately needed a point and some positivity, and was grateful for both of them.
Lacking a handful of players from the bottom of their lineup, the Canucks have been 1-4-2 in their last seven games and opened the difficult six-game road trip to Dallas on Tuesday. All six of their opponents held a playoff spot on Saturday.
"You have to take the positives out of that," Horvat said. "I think it was great to come back and get that point and build confidence in the journey. I think that was a step in the right direction.
"This will be difficult for us. . . but we have to find ways to win. "
On Saturday, they found a controversial way of tying.