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The defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Colorado Avalanche, are having a bit of a tough time with the Seattle Kraken. Now, things just got a little bit tougher with news that their No. 1 defenseman Cale Makar has been suspended 1 game for a hit on Seattle’s Jared McCann.
It happened in Game 4 of the Kraken and Avalanche’s first-round series. McCann fired a shot on net and peeled off into the corner where Makar delivered a bone-crunching hit. Of course, it caught the refs’ attention because the puck was nowhere around them when this happened.
McCann left the game and didn’t return — a significant loss for the Kraken — while Makar was initially given a major penalty. Upon review, this was downgraded to a two-minute minor, and the Kraken scored on the ensuing power play. They went on to win the game in overtime and even the series at two games apiece.
The day after the game, Makar had a hearing with the league and they assessed a 1-game suspension saying in a video that McCann was in “no way eligible to be checked on the play.”
Makar Is A Mahor Loss For The Avs, Even For Just One Game
The hit was a bit of an out-of-character moment for Makar, the reigning Conn Smythe winner who earlier this season was so honest about not being tripped that he cost his team a power play. Now, the Avalanche are going to have a bit more trouble ending the playoff hopes of the league’s newest team.
Colorado is already missing captain Gabriel Landeskog due to a knee injury and Makar is another, perhaps even more significant loss, even if just for one game. Makar logs the most minutes on the team, having averaged over 26 minutes per night during the regular season. He’s averaging just over 25 this postseason.
On top of being the top dog on the blue line, Makar is also part of the Avs’ top power play unit.
Makar will miss Game 5 in Denver but will be available for Game 6 which is back in Seattle. If last night was any indication, he’ll be hearing it from Kraken fans. He was booed every single time he was on the ice following his check on McCann.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle