Two steps forward, one step back.
This has been the mantra of the Colorado Avalanche season as they’ve been trying to progress. While they got both Valeri Nichushkin and Bowen Byram back on Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, now Cale Makar has suffered a setback out for at least the next two games.
It has been confirmed Makar is out due to lingering head issues from a hit he received during Tuesday night’s affair against the Pens. The hit came late in the third period when Jeff Carter put his right shoulder through the head of Makar in front of Pavel Francouz.
Carter would not be penalized for his actions both on and off the ice. The play was seen as a natural collision and coming together of bodies rather than Carter clipping Makar in the head. While Makar was able to finish the game, he will be out for at least the next two thanks to this disgustingly bad hit which went under the radar of everyone in the league who says they have “player safety” at the top of their list.
Don’t expect a suspension for Jeff Carter today. DOPS agreed with the referees and viewed the play as more a collision than a hit.— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) February 8, 2023
Updated info here:https://t.co/mv48QmzF4V
Because of Carter’s actions, the star Avs defender will miss what is a crucial stretch of the season. This includes the conclusion of this road trip in Florida against the team they played against in the Stanley Cup Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning, along with the Presidents Trophy winners, the Florida Panthers.
Should he miss more than the next two games, he’ll miss a rematch on home ice against the Bolts, a ginormous pair of road games against the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues, along with a matinee against the Edmonton Oilers. It couldn’t come at a worse time for the Avs, who are competing against a majority of these teams for a place in the playoffs in just a few months' time.
How will they fare without him? Time will tell. At least for now, likely Andreas Englund will come in to fill his place while Sam Girard will move up to the top pairing to play alongside Devon Toews.
We’ll miss our great No. 8. Hopefully it’s not for too long. It’s all we can do for now.