Posted October 20, 2013 on AP on Fox
Nathan MacKinnon has been compared to Sidney Crosby for much of his life. The two grew up in the same Canadian town and both went No. 1 in the NHL draft. Now they get to take a much closer look at each other. MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche visit Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night in the first NHL matchup of the pride of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. The Avalanche and Penguins are each off to a 7-1 start, with MacKinnon and Crosby playing a key role. The 26-year-old Crosby has seven goals and 10 assists for a league-best 17 points. MacKinnon, who turned 18 on Sept. 1, has a goal and six assists. MacKinnon called Crosby the best player in the world and said the center is ''on fire right now.'' But MacKinnon is focused on what he needs to do to help the Avalanche get another win. ''Any time he's out there when you're not on the ice, you sometimes get to enjoy and watch some good players when you're playing against them,'' he said. ''But when you're out there, you don't worry about who you're playing against. You worry about what you have to do.'' Crosby knows a lot about what MacKinnon is going through in his first year in the NHL. Crosby, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft, faced high expectations when he was an 18-year-old rookie and had 102 points in his first season with Pittsburgh. MacKinnon became one of the league's top prospects when he starred for Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the previous two seasons. He was the most valuable player of the Memorial Cup in May, leading his team to the title. ''Obviously he skates really well, and I don't think you see too many young guys that can shoot the puck like he can in their first year,'' Crosby said. ''I think he's got a great shot. I think he's got all the tools - really good hands, he works hard, and he's not afraid to go into traffic areas and create chances that way. So I think he gives himself a lot of opportunities to create things.'' The Avalanche struggled during last year's lockout-shortened season, but they have been one of the league's surprise teams so far this year under new coach Patrick Roy, a Hall of Fame goaltender. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he expects to see a young team with fresh legs and a lot of speed on Monday night, and MacKinnon is certainly part of that mix. Hailing from the same hometown as one of the NHL's best players puts a lot of pressure on a rising player. But Crosby believes guys such as MacKinnon and Seth Jones - a defenseman who was the Nashville Predators' first-round draft pick this year - are better prepared for the NHL due to their extensive experience coming into the league. ''Both (MacKinnon) and Seth Jones were talked about for a long time,'' Crosby said. ''They've been through everything - World Cup, World Juniors, and all that stuff. So I think everything has prepared them to get to this point and, as everyone has seen pretty quickly here, it hasn't taken them long to get used to NHL hockey. They've adjusted well.''

WATCH: Sidney Crosby breaks rookie Nathan MacKinnon's ankles

On Monday against the Colorado Avalanche, Sidney Crosby put on a conniving little display equivalent of a nasty crossover dribble in basketball.  With Crosby stickhandling with his back to him, Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon was trying to stay between Crosby and the net. Crosby faked going toward his right, but went left instead.  MacKinnon left to clean his jock up off the...

MacKinnon, Crosby set to meet for 1st time in NHL

Nathan MacKinnon has been compared to Sidney Crosby for much of his life. The two grew up in the same Canadian town and both went No. 1 in the NHL draft. Now they get to take a closer look at each other when MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche visit Crosby and the Penguins on Monday night. The Avalanche and Penguins are each off to a 7-1 start, with the natives of Cole Harbour...

MacKinnon, Avs top Crosby, Penguins

Sidney Crosby left little doubt about who remains the best player from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. That's fine by Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche. At the moment, they'll settle for one of the best records in the NHL. Jean-Sebastien Giguere turned aside 34 shots and the surprising Avalanche edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 on Monday night to improve to 8-1 on...

MacKinnon, Avalanche top Crosby, Penguins 1-0

Jean-Sebastien Giguere turned aside 34 shots for his second shutout in 11 days and the Colorado Avalanche edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 on Monday night. Gabriel Landeskog scored the game's only goal 5:26 into the second period as Colorado improved to 8-1, the best start in franchise history. The game was billed as a fight for bragging rights between Pittsburgh star Sidney...

Gameday skate: Canucks in Pittsburgh to take on Crosby and the Penguins

Morning Skate Canucks gameday links: NWSB Matchup Insight | NWSB Preview + Prediction The Vancouver Canucks play their first afternoon game of the season Saturday opposite Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. With the best player in the world at their disposal the Penguins are expected to pose a greater challenge for the Canucks relative to Thursday’s beat down in Buffalo...

Today’s 5: Crosby’s scoring pace, Sabres losing pace, Tim Thomas’ positive influence, and more.

1. Crosby is a beast. The NHL season is only three weeks old, and already Sidney Crosby is running away with the scoring lead, again. The Kid has 17 points in 8 games, as I’m sure you already know. Pretty…Read more →The post Today’s 5: Crosby’s scoring pace, Sabres losing pace, Tim Thomas’ positive influence, and more. appeared first on The Hockey Daily.

Avalanche-Penguins Preview

It comes as little surprise that the Pittsburgh Penguins sit atop the Eastern Conference with Sidney Crosby holding the early edge in the scoring race. Few may have expected the Colorado Avalanche to get off to such a hot start under first-year coach Patrick Roy. Pittsburgh seeks a fifth straight victory while looking to remain perfect at home Monday night as it faces a Colorado...

Sunday Scouting Report: 10/20 - 10/26 by @ToonsBrian

Each week, Pens Initiative will look at the upcoming week's schedule for the Pittsburgh Penguins and tell you what to look for in these games. We'll cover trends, player performances and everything else that may impact the games ahead.    It was quite a week for the Penguins.  Sidney Crosby continued his tear, taking over each of the major scoring categories...

Sidney Crosby expects ‘intense competition’ against Nathan Mackinnon

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby isn’t surprised that Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon is being compared to him. Eight years ago, Crosby scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists) through the first eight games of his rookie season.  MacKinnon, the first pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, has scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in his first eight games with the...

Fantasy Hockey: Week 3

  First thing's first; if you had the first overall pick and skipped on Sidney Crosby, you're probably kicking yourself. Crosby has looked as good as ever and leads the league in goals and assists. Patrick Marleau is someone who has been impressive to start this year with at least a point in every game and he has scored a goal in every game but one this year. Marc-Andre...

Thoughts: Game 8 – Penguins vs Canucks

Penguins 4  Canucks 3 (SO) By: Meesh Shanmugam (@HockeyMeesh) Goals Crosby (7) from Kunitz, Dupuis Kunitz (4) (PP) from Malkin, Crosby Maatta (1) from Kunitz, Crosby SO Winner: Malkin Goal Assessment First Goal Against (Edler) Alexander Edler receives the puck at center ice and takes a long slapshot on net. The puck hits off of Fleury’s chest and goes into the air where he loses...

Stars Of The Week

NEW YORK (Oct. 21, 2013) – Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 20. Continue reading "Stars Of The Week"

Pittsburgh Penguins Gameday 9: Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche (7-1-0) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (7-1-0) Root Sports, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2 - 7:30 pm/et  Consol Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA There's a part of us/me that has kind of loved the Colorado Avalanche for a while. When the 1996 Florida Panthers eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final, they didn't just bring the scourge...

Avalanche improves to 8-1 by defeating Pittsburgh 1-0

When the Avalanche played at Boston on Oct. 10 former Colorado defenseman Ray Bourque gave players a suggestion for its slogan this season: "Why not us?" Avalanche players seem to be buying into that one a little more with each passing and unexpected victory such as Monday night's 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center. An 8-1 start to the season...

Notes & Lines: Tonight Versus Colorado Avalanche

Patrick Roy and the Central Division-leading Colorado Avalanche visit Pittsburgh. It's Nathan MacKinnon versus Sidney Crosby! Cole Harbour must be so excited!  Sidney Crosby was named the second star of the week for last week. Marc-Andre Fleury is 7-0 and Tim Wharnsby from CBC says he is currently at the top of the list of "contenders for the three goalkeeper...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.