An awful second period by the Colorado Avalanche was made even worse, as the Avalanche lost Cale Makar on a very questionable hit by Kyle Okposo.
While retrieving the puck in his own end, Makar went to go around his own net, and Kyle Okposo gave him a shove from behind with his stick, sending the defenseman awkwardly into the boards. Take a look at the hit for yourselves.
Cale Makar has gone to the locker room after taking a hit and going into the boards awkwardly pic.twitter.com/qj1Qrz6sjs
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) October 29, 2023
Makar immediately left the game and did not return in the second period. We’ll keep you updated on if he comes back or not, but the real question – why didn’t Okposo get a penalty?
If you watch the play, even Okposo thinks he’s going to get a penalty. He stops playing completely, and flubs his play after because he expected a whistle. The referee had a good look at it as well, but chose not to make the call. Seems like a pretty easy call to make – Okposo sees only numbers, extends his arms a bit, and you have an injury. At that distance from the boards, it’s an incredibly dangerous play by Okposo.
The major concern is now the health of Makar, who did not look great leaving the ice with head trainer Matt Sokolowski. Legs aren’t typically supposed to bend the way Makar’s did along the boards.
A furious Nathan MacKinnon took an unsportsmanlike penalty moments later, as he likely had more than a few words with the refs about the no-call.
UPDATE: Cale Makar somehow returned for the third period. I didn’t expect it, given the way his leg went into the boards, but he’s back on the ice. We’ll see if he feels the effects of this hit over the coming days.