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For the past month, Nathan MacKinnon has been the NHL’s best player.

For several years now, the label of “NHL’s best player” has been bestowed on Connor McDavid. The Oilers’ star is truly in a class of his own, and while the league is brimming with talent, he is without doubt the most talented player on the circuit today.

We’re talking about a player who amassed 153 points last year. Nothing less.

That said, there are other stars in the league. Guys like Auston Matthews, Leon Draisaitl, Cale Makar and Nikita Kucherov, to name but a few, are far from bad players.

But today, I want to talk to you about another player in this category: Nathan MacKinnon. Because for the past month, he’s been the best player in the NHL.

In fact, in his last 17 games, MacKinnon has scored at least one point in each of them. I say “at least” because, in reality, he has 33 points in his last 17 games.

Since the start of this sequence (November 20), no player has amassed more points than MacKinnon. McDavid (31) and Kucherov (30) aren’t far behind, but then Mika Zibanejad comes in fourth with 20 points.

And over the past week, Mack has really stepped up his game. He took advantage of his duels against the Sharks (two goals and four points) and the Senators(four goals and five points) to put on a show.

Let’s also give some credit to Jonathan Drouin, who’s having a good time: he’s on a five-game point streak, and he’s able to fuel his old chum’s huge streak.

The problem is, despite the fact that MacKinnon has been hotter than the sun for the past month, the Avalanche only have a 9-6-2 record over that same period of time.

Connor McDavid says these things happen.

But despite the Avalanche’s somewhat disappointing record, it’s hard to blame the league’s best player over the past month, Nathan MacKinnon, for the losses. Because right now, he’s playing some of the most inspired hockey around.

In gusto

– Nice move by Alex Newhook.

– A well-deserved holiday break for Martin St-Louis.

– Simon Edvinsson recalled by the Red Wings.

– Great holiday reading.

– A name to watch.

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