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How a text from Crosby helped MacKinnon dominate the playoffs

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DENVER — Nathan MacKinnon wants the record set straight.

He didn’t fall, he was pushed.

In the midst of a heated exchange on the bench with Colorado coach Jared Bednar, the two things that interrupted MacKinnon’s verbal assault included him throwing a water bottle and him falling backwards off the bench.

The early-January exchange was all caught on camera at the Saddledome in Calgary where the Avs were seconds away from their eighth loss in nine outings.

“I got pushed,” smiled MacKinnon ahead of Game 3 against the San Jose Sharks.

“Gabe (Landeskog) pushed me because he was like, ‘Nate, stop, stop, stop.’ I couldn’t hear him, so he hit me harder and then I fell over. That’s what I wanted to tweet out but I’m like, ‘I can’t tweet something now.’ I wish he said something and admitted it.”

The video went viral, putting an unwanted spotlight on an ugly exchange in which MacKinnon appeared to tell Bednar, “Just do your job.”

“Nate did a good job explaining it in Montreal the next day saying, ‘I let the emotions get the best of me and I should have handled it better,’” said Landeskog of an incident he, MacKinnon and Bednar agree was a tremendous learning experience.

“For him that’s one of his greatest qualities is how passionate he is and how badly he wants it. Sometimes it bubbles over and he takes it out on the bench and things like that are going to happen. For us at that point in the season we kept losing and couldn’t get an end to it. We’re able to look back at it and laugh now.”

Pausing, Landeskog proved it.


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