The Colorado Avalanche counterpunched during Game 3 on their series against the Nashville Predators on Monday night, but the Preds withstood a furious rally by the Avs for a 3-2 win in Game 4 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series. While Avalanche fans might have been on the edge on their seats during the attempted rally, another moment in the game caught their attention and made them quite nervous about the remainder of the game, and possibly of the series.
During the second period of the contest, there was a scary moment when Nathan MacKinnon’s stick caught teammate Mikko Rantanen near the eye. In a fast sequence of play, Mackinnon went to avoid a hit from Predators forward Ryan Johansson, who was himself getting pushed into the boards by Rantanen, but it all went to hectic chaos. While avoiding the hit, MacKinnon's stick found a way under the visor of Rantanen, who quickly lost his helmet as a result of the force behind MacKinnon's movement. The 21-year-old winger fell to the ice, with his hands on his eyes as fans wondered if the poor kid has lost an eye. See the sequence for yourself in the video here below:
An Avalanche trainer rushed to Rantanen with a towel to press against his face, while the young forward kept rubbing his left eye, which made the fan base quite worried about the injury. He did leave the game with the towel pressed against his face, only to return a few minutes later.
Say what? Indeed, the young player did not stay that long in the dressing room after coming millimetres close to losing an eye, and jumped back on the ice ready to help his team rally against the Predators.
Rantanen has been criticized in the first-round series for being quite invisible at times. In the four games of the series, the winger has managed to record three assists, but has yet to find the back of the net for his team. In 81 games of the regular season calendar, Rantanen tallied 29 goals and a whopping 84 points in his second full campaign with the Avalanche. We bet fans were hoping to see him do as well during the postseason...
Maybe the nasty injury will get him going!