The surge of Cale Makar
- One of the easiest things to appreciate about hockey these days is Colorado Avalanche rookie phenom Cale Makar.
- With two-thirds of the Avalanche’s top line out of commission, the Avs experienced an offensive dip and needed some other guys to start upping their game in order to make up for lost production.
- Nathan MacKinnon can’t do it all himself.
- So, enter Makar.
- Anyone paying attention already knew Makar was a special talent.
- He captured the Hobey Baker as college hockey’s best player last season, leading UMass to the national title game before joining the Avs during the Stanley Cup Playoffs where he made an immediate impact.
- Prior to this regular season, I wrote that he’d be the best rookie in the NHL this season, though I predicted he might lose the Calder Trophy to a forward who put up sexier numbers.
- Through 18 games this season, Makar is averaging a point-per-game with five goals and 13 assists.
- He hasn’t been perfect, especially defensively, and that’s to be expected with a young defenseman.
- But Makar seems to be getting more comfortable and he’s come on particularly strong over the past week after being paired with Ryan Graves in a top-four role.
- Makar has scored four goals in the Avs’ last three games — all of them coming at even-strength.
- His surge has come at a crucial time and helped Colorado snap a five-game losing streak in order to put together three straight wins.
- Makar had the game-winning goal in two of those games.
- And it’s not just that he’s doing it, it’s how he’s doing it.
- Look at the skill on this maniac… he’s so much fun.
— NHL (@NHL) November 13, 2019
- Makar finding a little more stability and comfort is a dangerous thing for the rest of the league and it could serve as a major help for the Avs in the absence of Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog up front.
- After scoring just seven total goals during their five-game losing streak, Colorado has netted 17 in their last three games — including a six-goal outburst in the span of eight minutes during a game against Nashville last week.
- Makar has been on the ice for 10 of those 17 goals.
Sources & Credits: Pete Blackburn, CBS SPORTS
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