Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar dominated on the ice and was rewarded with a two-goal night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar is amazing. That’s it. That’s the post.
Ok, that’s not the whole post. We’ve got to love on our rookie some.
The Avalanche beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in Pepsi Center by a score of 4-2. Makar scored two of those four goals and looked like he really wanted a third for the hatty.
Only one Avs defenseman has ever scored a hat trick, and it was Sandis Ozolinsh. He was not a rookie at the time.
Well, Cale didn’t get the hat trick… this time. But he did score two beautiful goals.
The first came halfway through the second period with the Avs down 2-1. Makar gets into position, and you can see him hitting the ice rapidly to call for the puck:
Valeri Nuchushkin paid the ultimate price when he got smashed up against the boards. Also, according to John Michael Liles, the way Makar opens up his left skate while he goes down to make the shot is elite skating. It’s also cool looking.
His second goal came just over five minutes later. The tally started with a breakaway by Tyson Jost, who drove up the ice at speed. Makar put the wheels on to blow past his Columbus defender to turn the play into a 2-on-1.
Coach Jared Bednar called that pass by Jost “crisp” and spent a good 30 seconds praising it. That play certainly wouldn’t have happened without the crisp pass.
It also wouldn’t have happened without Cale’s speed and wicked wrister. He shook his head and puffed his cheeks afterward because he maybe wanted to lift the puck more, but, hey, the puck went in.
At this point, I would like to remind the world that Cale Makar is just 27 games into his NHL career. He is a defenseman. And he’s taking over games.
Cale for Calder.
The game wasn’t all roses, and we witness a very scary action in tonight’s game. Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno took out Pierre-Edouard Bellemare with a hit straight to the head. Bellemare’s head whiplashed, and then it hit the ice. It was sickening:
You don’t see it in the replay, but Foligno watched the replay on Pepsi Vision and shook his head in the classic “That’s not a penalty” mode.
I understand Foligno is not known for being a dirty player. However, this was his apology:
Yeah, dog, that ain’t it. First of all, Bellemare didn’t “turn back.” He was going the same direction the whole time until Foligno’s elbow changed his head’s direction. Second, props for saying you felt sick to your stomach, but “That’s the way this game goes sometimes”? Uh, no, the onus is on the hitter to avoid making those dangerous plays.
The general consensus among those outside the CBJ fanbase is that Foligno should be suspended. Even if he’s not a dirty player, and even if he didn’t target the head initially, the Department of Player Safety is tasked with getting these types of hits out of hockey.
And if it had been Nikita Zadorov who laid that hit, the DoPS would suspend him in a heartbeat.
To end on a high note, let’s first look at goalie Pavel Francouz going for the empty-net goal.
It wasn’t an accident that the puck was heading for the open net — Francouz said after the game that he was going for the goal. He then had the cutest puppy smile on his face, and, of course, the Avs haven’t put that up on the website yet.
UPDATE: Here it is:
However, they did have time to tweet a great celebratory gif about Cale Makar’s accomplishment:
The gif is from the NHL Media Day video he recorded of making a kale smoothie.
Anyway, the Colorado Avalanche are about to embark on a five-game road trip that will take them across Canada and into Canada South, Minnesota.