Colorado Avalanche star rookie defenseman Cale Makar left the Bruins game apparently injured. Can the team survive such a loss?
The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Boston Bruins yesterday evening, which means they swept both the Original Six road trip and the 2019-20 Boston series.
However, Saturday’s victory came at a price. Two players left the game with injuries. One of them, Philipp Grubauer, returned, if only to sit on the bench.
The other, Cale Makar, left the game and did not return.
Makar was the victim of Boston Bruins bad boy Brad Marchand. Believe it or not, the hit from Marchand was clean. Here it is.
I mean, as clean as a Marchand hit can be.
Anyway, Makar left the game just under four minutes into the third period and did not return. As you can see in the video, he’s shaking his head and also favoring his shoulder or arm.
He did not return.
The Bruins didn’t score again, despite a six-on-four advantage late in the period. So keeping Makar out could have been precautionary.
It didn’t look precautionary. And with the way the injury bug has been biting this season, it doesn’t feel precautionary. I mean, Nazem Kadri has missed the last two games with an injury no one ever saw, Colin Wilson is out indefinitely after injuring himself so badly in practice he needs surgery, and who even knows what happened to Andre Burakovsy two games ago.
Not to mention the loss of our star winger, Mikko Rantanen, followed by the loss of our captain, Garbriel Landeskog, followed by the loss of first our starting then our backup goalie. And don’t even get me started on Nikita Zadorov or Matt Calvert. Or Erik Johnson, for the love of hockey. Or Tyson Jost.
I’m probably missing some guys in there. Almost every game, a player gets injured on the Colorado Avalanche.
And now, Cale Makar could very well be injured. He could miss some time.
On the face of it, the answer to the question “Can the Colorado Avalanche win without Makar” is obviously yes. The team had two very successful seasons without the rookie. What’s more, the team has spent the whole season finding ways to win no matter what major player is out of the lineup.
However, as Cale Makar walked down the tunnel, Altitude TV announcer Mark Rycroft lamented, “How much is too much?”
The question becomes, not can the Avs survive without their rookie defenseman, a heavy favorite for the Calder Trophy? But rather, can the Avs survive yet another injury in an injury-plagued season? Can the spirit of the team survive an injury to a player second only to Nathan MacKinnon in importance for team success?
And how long before our superstars, MacKinnon, is injured like our superstud rookie is?
Because that’s the thing with mentality and motivation and fandom. It doesn’t necessarily respond to rational though. (BOLO for a post in that vein soon.)
There’s a breaking point for morale the same as there is for fandom. Is the loss of Cale Makar that breaking point for the Colorado Avalanche?
At the time of writing, there was no news on the status of Cale Makar. I don’t know if the Colorado Avalanche will have a practice today — I wouldn’t be surprised to see them skip it after a tough roadie. So, we could well be kept in the dark until Monday,.