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Colorado Avalanche

Postgame Avs-Coyotes: Great showing, but Makar out rest of road trip



Nathan MacKinnon
Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire

Cale Makar will miss at least the next two games with his upper-body injury, Avs coach Jared Bednar told Colorado Hockey Now after the Avs’ impressive 6-2 win at Arizona tonight.

“I think we can probably rule him out here for this road trip. I still would consider him day-to-day because I don’t know that it’s going to be longer than the next couple games,” Bednar said, when CHN asked about the Calder Trophy defenseman’s status.

Whatever this injury is, I think it’s wise to just give Makar whatever time off he needs to get this right. Because, quite frankly, injuries are starting to become too much of the narrative of his young career already. Makar missed 25 games to injury last year, and when this road trip is done, he’ll have missed five of the first 20 this season. That’s not his fault, of course, but it’s just starting to become something of a…worry.

Bednar said Makar is going to need further evaluation on his injury. It doesn’t sound serious, but who knows? I didn’t notice anything in particular where he might have gotten injured, in Friday night’s game. Remember, though, he missed a game last week against Vegas with an upper-body injury too.

As always, we just have to hope for good news from the medical tent from here on out.

I certainly never expected my story the other day, about the ongoing process of maybe getting fans back in the stands at Ball Arena, to turn into a situation where Kroenke Sports would put an official on the house channel and put out a statement to “refute” it, but here we are.

I never tried to suggest KSE was derelict in their duties or anything sinister. Just that, hey, a guy from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said, on the record, that the Avs and Nuggets hadn’t applied with them yet to get the process going. If I had one thing to do over on the story, I probably wouldn’t have written the headline like I did, which made it sound a little too much like KSE was in fact asleep at the switch. So, for that, I would like to say sorry.

But as for the story itself, I don’t think it was “inaccurate” and, yeah, I think KSE doth protest a bit too much on the whole thing. And I’ll be following up more with what the CDPHE has to say about it. I don’t think we’ve gotten the full story yet, either way. That said, I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. And hey, at least I gave some of the thumbsucker local media that never breaks any news on their own something to retweet when KSE went into spin mode.

I asked Gabe Landeskog, who tied Peter Forsberg tonight for third on the all-time Avs goal list with 202, whether, in essence, there is a tug of war about the team’s identity. It seems like whenever the Avs get into some trouble and go back to basics, they play the kind of hockey that has gotten them two straight wins. When things come a little too easy and pretty and maybe they get a little too full of themselves as a result, they get in trouble again.

Here’s what he said:

“We’re never really trying to go out there and play flashy or just skill our way to wins,” Landeskog said. “For us, the hard work comes first. The way the game is set out for us and the systems that are set out for us are to play with speed, in straight lines and to support one another. And from there, there are times where guys like Nate can use their skill and force opponents to back off and make some plays out there. Bedsy has been pretty clear about that, ever since he came in here five years ago, that, listen, he’s not going to hold us back offensively. He wants to let us play and let us use our imaginations offensively, but within that there’s got to a frame of how we’re going to play as a group of five. But to answer your question, we want to play fast but not overcomplicate things, and the last couple games I think we did that.”

Colorado is 2-0-0 against Arizona in 2020-21 with six more games remaining in the season series. The clubs will meet next on March 8 and 10 in Denver.
Philipp Grubauer earned his 10th win of the season and ranks third among NHL goaltenders in wins and seventh in goals-against average (2.01).

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