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Colorado Avalanche

Superman Is Back: Cale Makar Records First Career Hat Trick

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Cale Makar nhl avalanche

Is Cale Makar injured? Should the Colorado Avalanche rest him down the stretch?

On Wednesday night, Makar, who told reporters on Monday that there’s nothing wrong with him health-wise, sent a message to everyone with his play.

“I’m good.”

The 25 year old, who just a few days ago became the leader in pretty much every statistical category in Avalanche history for defensemen, registered his first career hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings. He became just the second Avalanche defenseman to record a hat trick, as it hadn’t been done since the extremely underrated Sandis Ozolinsh potted three goals of his own way back on Dec. 6, 1999. It’s the fourth time it’s been done in franchise history, dating back to the Quebec Nordiques days.

Despite looking a little “off” this season, Makar has hit the 70 point mark for just the second time in his NHL career, and it only took 59 games for him to get there. His 17 goals now lead all defensemen in the NHL, and he’s creeping back up on Quinn Hughes for the point lead. With the multiple point effort, Makar now takes over the point-per-game lead for all defensemen, so I guess the Norris Trophy battle is back on.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Avalanche handle his minutes down the stretch. With the addition of Sean Walker, they may be able to start limiting his time-on-ice while shorthanded, which could open him up a little bit more offensively. I remember asking Jared Bednar a few years ago what the ideal range for time-on-ice in a game for Makar would be, and he said they’d prefer to keep him around the 24 minute range.

This season, he’s averaging a hair under 25 minutes, so a little less time on the penalty kill could go a long way.

Colorado beat the Red Wings badly on Wednesday night, and should only get better, as reinforcements in the form of Walker, Casey Mittelstadt, and Valeri Nichushkin could arrive as early as Friday.

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