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RAPID REACTION: Makar Shows Why He’s The Best

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Avalanche Makar

If you’re the opposition and you see Cale Makar dancing at the offensive blueline early in the game, you have to know you’re toast, right? The Dallas Stars and Jake Oettinger held Makar at bay for as long as they could, but some nights, he is inevitable.

This was one of those nights.

It started on one of his first shifts of the night. Evgeni Dadonov came out to the blueline to challenge Makar. Big mistake. The 25 year old defenseman head-faked to his left, then cut to his right, leaving Dadonov in the dust. Oettinger did a good job working through the screen in front to stop Makar’s shot, but he was just getting started. Later in the period, it was Jason Robertson who he danced, and instead of pulling up, Cale took this one to the net. Oettinger looked like he barely got his blocker on it, but that might have been the last time he got something on one of Makar’s shots.

His powerplay goal late in the second was almost a carbon copy of his goal in Game One, sending a wrister through traffic to beat Oettinger. This one might have been more impressive, though. Then in the third, Makar did to Tyler Seguin what he did to Dadonov and Robertson earlier. This time, luck was on his side, with his pass deflecting off a stick and into the net for the game-winner.

These are the games where elite skill and elite players can take over. Colorado’s number one defenseman did just that to make sure his team lived to fight another day.

“Every one of our D or theirs doesn’t have the ability (like Makar) to dance a guy in space and get to the net, right?” Bednar said after the game. “It takes elite skill to be able to do that and there’s only a handful of guys in the league that can do it. And he ends up doing it multiple times tonight to create that scoring chance. It’s just high skill awareness.”

We’re seeing some high-end skill on the blueline in this series. At the other end of the ice you have Miro Heiskanen, taken just one pick before Makar in the 2017 NHL Draft. He scored again on Wednesday to give him five goals this postseason, the same total as Makar. Heiskanen has four goals this series alone.

Get used to it, folks. We’ve already been watching these two go head-to-head for a few years now, and we’ll likely be witnessing it for the next decade. Back and forth, back and forth. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

As for Game Five?

Advantage: Makar.

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Ken

Solid effort tonight and it gives me a little hope. We have absolutely got to get rid of the dumb! Manson not protecting that puck on goal 1, Dumb! Shooting pucks over glass without much pressure, Dumb! Weak stick tripping penalty late in 1 goal game, Dumb! Coaches letting Mikko see the ice at all, late in a 1 goal game, (to take said penalty) DUMB!!! If we can just get rid of the dumb, we can pull this off.

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