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Makar and Johnson ready for “weird” Avalanche no-fan experience




First off, Cale Makar still has the same rosy cheeks after any kind of exercise. That’s about the only thing you can say is the “same” right now with Makar or anything else in these times of global pandemic.

Fresh from the Pepsi Center ice Monday morning, following the Colorado Avalanche’s first Phase 3 training camp session, Makar did a Zoom session with the local media and touched on a few subjects. Yes, he feels good, no he never had any thoughts of opting out of this dystopian postseason odyssey.

The one subject that did seem to heighten Makar’s interest and voice inflection was when asked about what he thinks it’ll be like playing playoff hockey with no fans in the stands.

“It’s going to be a different atmosphere. You’re going to have to find ways to create your own energy, whether it’s on the bench or your own individual self,” said Makar, the front-runner for the Calder Trophy this season. “It’s gonna be different, and hopefully something that’s not permanent. But it’s going to be an interesting experience, that’s for sure.”

The more you talk to players about this whole thing, the more they seem most fascinated about the “no fans in the stands” aspect. What’s it going to be like if, say, you’re in overtime of a seventh game of a series and pretty much the only have for an atmosphere in Edmonton is…crickets?

“It’s gonna be wild,” Erik Johnson said. “It’ll feel like a training camp a little bit, I imagine. I’m sure they’ll pump a little crowd noise into the speakers, but it’s going to be very bizarre. The crowd gives you so much adrenaline, so much energy. It makes this experience very surreal. I’m sure some people at home might like it. They’ll probably pick up some things you normally wouldn’t hear. You’re going to have to generate your own momentum. The atmosphere is obsolete, right? The home team will have the advantage with the last change and things like that, but no home-ice advantage as far as the crowd. It’s going to be an adjustment for everyone, for sure.”

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