Colorado Avalanche: Should We Be Worried About Cale Makar?

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar is supposed to be the crown jewel of the team’s blueline. Is he living up to expectations?

The Colorado Avalanche chose Cale Makar with the fourth-overall draft pick after an historically bad season. Makar went on to spend two years at UMass, helping bring their hockey program to the next level. He won the Hobey Baker Award for collegiate hockey excellence.

He finally joined the Avalanche in the playoffs of 2019. He scored his first NHL goal on his first shot of his first game against the team he grew up idolizing.

The bar seemed impossibly high for Makar for his official rookie season. However, he surpassed the bar. He was the Avalanche’s second leading scorer, second only to Nathan MacKinnon. And though Canucks rookie Quinn Hughes gave him a run for his money, Makar was a shoe-in for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. He, of course, won.

But what has Makar done since then? Is he suffering the dreaded sophomore slump? Why, look at his stats to date. He has only 24 points in 25 games. And only four of those are goals!

You have to wonder if we should be concerned about Makar’s play. Has his career been negatively impacted by the strange circumstances of COVID? He didn’t get to actually finish out his rookie season and played the playoffs in that restrictive bubble.

And now, the COVID landscape has made the hockey world unusual, to say the least. They get COVID tests before every practice and every game. That kind of situation has got to put strain on a young man like Makar. Maybe his mental acuities have been affected. He’s seventh on the team for scoring this season! Why even fellow defenseman Sam Girard has more points!

Consider this post a late April Fool’s joke. The inspiration struck me when I saw him score the game-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues. Obviously, the only people who should be worried about Cale Makar are opponent teams and fans.

Indeed, the Blues, struggling for a playoff berth (who’d have predicted that?!) must have been crushed when Makar scored the game-winner with just 41 seconds left in regulation. I mean, there they were, looking to at least secure a point, and Makar put the nail right in their coffin.

Let’s have a moment of appreciation for that goal:

Rude, Cale. It was super rude to employ your patented Makar Shimmy and use it to strike despair into the hearts of the Blues players. Those men have families who were probably watching. Didn’t your parents teach you any manners?

The goal was unassisted, by the way.

So, yes, Makar is seventh on the team for scoring. However, that’s a product of his having sat out some games because of injury. Also, the Avs forwards have been having themselves a year.

And scoring at almost a point a game is a pretty good pace for a defenseman who’s also solid in his own zone.

Watch the highlight of that late goal again. Try to get a peep of the Blues bench. You can almost see the will to live leave their bodies. As a Colorado Avalanche fan, you love to see it. Thanks, Cale.