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The Wraparound: Golden Knights have ‘frustrated’ MacKinnon, Avs’ top line

Kathryn Tappen, Anson Carter and Patrick Sharp discuss Jonathan Marchessault's Game 4 hat trick that helped the Vegas Golden Knights tie their series against the Colorado Avalanche 2-2.

The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

• The Canadiens completed their sweep of the Jets on Monday, becoming the first team to advance to the Stanley Cup Semifinals.

• Bruce Cassidy was very, very mad about the officiating in the Bruins’ Game 5 loss.

Want to catch up on all of Monday night’s playoff action? Check out the NHL Playoff Buzzer.

Don’t say that the Avalanche never faced adversity during the 2020-21 season.

Thanks to injuries, hockey fans received only so many glimpses of the Avs at full-strength. They didn’t have Pavel Francouz at all this season. Cale Makar might lose out on the Norris Trophy after missing some time. In an amusing twist, Nazem Kadri ranked as one of the few Avalanche to play all 56 regular-season games.

The thing is, it was tough to really register that adversity. After all, the Avalanche just kept rolling and rolling, making it all that much more jarring that they’ve run into a brick wall against the Golden Knights.


So we’ve witnessed rare sights and sounds heading into Game 5 vs. the Golden Knights on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN). People are ... actually doubting Nathan MacKinnon, and the Avs as a whole?

Truly, it’s been jarring to see how much the Golden Knights have overwhelmed the Avalanche. It’s not just that they’ve won the last two games, it’s that they’ve imposed their will -- and skill -- on Colorado.

Maybe some of that comes down to the Golden Knights believing in themselves, and not being too scared of MacKinnon and other elite Avs?

“We gave them a little too much respect in Game 1,” said Vegas forward Mark Stone. “We kind of stepped back after the first period of Game 2, we realized we could play with these guys. But to say it’s easy is a very false statement. They’re a great team, they’re going back home, they’re going to bring their best game. We’re just going to go on the road and try to do a lot of the things we’ve been doing at home and in the last three games combined.”

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 Second Round schedule, TV info]

When you’re winning, the focus is on your power play making the difference. When you’re losing, it maybe sheds a light on larger MacKinnon - Gabriel Landeskog - Mikko Rantanen struggles.

“They’re frustrated, for sure,” Jared Bednar said, via the Athletic (sub required). “This is going to be a battle. I fully expect our guys to take another step in this series in the home game, and our big line will have to be a big part of that.”


Game 5: Lightning at Hurricanes, 6:30 p.m. ET (TB leads 3-1) - NBCSN (livestream)
Game 5:
Avalanche at Golden Knights, 9 p.m. ET (Series 2-2) - NBCSN (livestream)


Game 5: Bruins at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. ET (NYI leads 3-2) - NBCSN (livestream)


James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.