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Cale Makar suspended one playoff game

The Avalanche will have to go without the best defender in the world in game 5.

Colorado Avalanche v Seattle Kraken - Game Four Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has been handed a one-game suspension following his hit on Seattle Kraken forward Jared McCann nine minutes into game four. This might come as a surprise to some NHL followers, given Makar’s lack of previous offenses and given the context of the play. To the outraged others, this might serve as an adequate response. Nonetheless, the play resulted in an injury, and it is the Department of Player Safety’s job to enforce discipline when an injury could have been avoided.

When you watch the replay of the hit with the audio, you will get the context I previously referred to. McCann takes a shot on a short-handed break that is saved and deflected into the air and out of play. However, the refs did not blow the whistle until after the hit was made. This and Makar’s searching head motions corroborate his assertion that he couldn’t find the puck, didn’t hear a whistle, and assumed the puck was landing in the corner and thus finished his check.

The play was undoubtedly interference. There is no arguing that. The point of adding the context of the whistle is to establish Makar’s intentions. I believe Makar intended to play to the whistle in the highest stakes portion of his profession, not to injure or take liberties. I expected this context and his humble track record to afford him some leniency. Guess not. If the Avs are to take the series lead back at home tomorrow night, it will be without Cale Makar.

This will be another heavy blow to Colorado’s depth without Valeri Nichushkin, Gabe Landeskog, Jack Johnson, and Darren Helm. Will this somehow galvanize the last men standing or be the ultimate circumstance that nudges Colorado into playoff elimination?

Tell us what you think in the comments!