MacKinnon, Bednar exchange venom on bench of struggling Avalanche

Things have reached more than a mild simmer with the Colorado Avalanche.

While dropping their eighth game over the last nine on Wednesday night in Calgary, cameras caught superstar centre Nathan MacKinnon and head coach Jared Bednar barking venomously at one another on the Avalanche bench.

It’s unclear what caused the blow-up (neither was apparently asked about it after the game) or exactly what was said, but the exchange of pointed words was intense enough for MacKinnon to literally fall off the bench when captain Gabriel Landeskog attempted to intervene.

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MacKinnon eventually closed the show by regaining his seat and appearing to yell “do your job!” at Bednar.

Here’s the clip, which begins as most bench arguments do: with a water bottle spike.


While the Avalanche are surely disappointed to have frustrations reach a boiling point with cameras rolling, the emotions are understandable. It’s been a horrific last month of action for the Avs, who have dropped from the top spot in the Western Conference to the first wild-card position. Just four points now separates Colorado from sinking beyond the playoff cutline and joining what has been a relatively non-competitive bottom half of the conference.

And the Avs are fortunate, because beyond the top three teams in each division, no one is winning right now.

Though we have limited information, MacKinnon’s last dig provides some clarity in terms of what the conversation was about.

As the centrepiece of maybe the most dominant line in hockey, MacKinnon has in many ways carried the Avalanche to this point. Now that the team’s complete lack of secondary scoring has started to catch up to them, it seems MacKinnon is taking exception to the ostensible notion that he was, as least for a moment, contributing to what’s ailing the Avs.

For those scoring, MacKinnon scored — and was on the ice for all three Avs goals — in the 5-3 loss to Calgary.

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