‘He’s a horse out there:’ Don Cherry delivers high praise to Nathan MacKinnon

Philip Croucher, Metro Halifax
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COLE HARBOUR - The hockey world is talking about Cole Harbour’s Nathan MacKinnon, and that includes Don Cherry.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrates a goal against the Minnesota Wild in the first period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Denver.

The outspoken broadcaster on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada spent much of Sunday night’s Coach’s Corner segment praising the 18-year-old MacKinnon and his incredible rookie season, which has translated into an unbelievable start to the playoffs.

MacKinnon has seven points in two games for the Colorado Avalanche in their series with the Minnesota Wild, putting him tied for the NHL post-season scoring lead with teammate Paul Stastny.

“This kid, everyone is talking about him. He’s a horse out there,” Cherry said of the former star and Memorial Cup champion with the Halifax Mooseheads.

“I’ll tell you, there hasn’t been many kids at his age coming up that great.”

MacKinnon tallied his first-ever playoff goal in highlight reel fashion in Game 2 on Saturday night. Taking the puck just inside his own blueline seven minutes into the first period, MacKinnon picked up speed through the neutral zone, deked out a Wild defenceman and fired a perfect shot far-side on netminder Ilya Bryzgalov.

The goal has been shown on countless highlight reels ever since.

MacKinnon went on to add three assists in the game to finish with four points as the Avalanche won, 4-2.

“You realize he’s 18,” Stastny, who had a goal and three assists, told reporters after the game. “He’s hungry, that’s what makes him a good player. He doesn’t rely on his skill.” – with files from The Associated Press

Organizations: CBC, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild NHL The Associated Press

Geographic location: Canada

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