The Colorado Avalanche could be without one of the game’s best defenseman for a pivotal Game 5 as Cale Makar will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for a late hit on Seattle Kraken forward Jared McCann on Monday night.
“Colorado’s Cale Makar will have a hearing today for Interference against Seattle’s Jared McCann,” the department wrote on social media on Tuesday.
The hit in question occurred in the first period of Monday night’s game, when Makar drove McCann hard into the boards after a stoppage of play. The puck was nowhere near McCann when Makar threw the hit.
Makar was originally given a major penalty, but it was reduced to a minor infraction after a review.
What comes next for Makar? pic.twitter.com/3Vlbm3HYwI
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) April 25, 2023
The Avs superstar defenseman tried to defend the hit after the game, saying his goal wasn’t to hurt McCann and that he thought the puck was in the area.
“I didn’t feel like I tried to finish him that far,” he explained after Colorado lost Game 4 in overtime at Climate Pledge Arena. “I feel like if I was in that scenario they would have done the exact same thing. I’m not trying to hurt anybody.”
McCann immediately headed down the tunnel to the locker room after the hit, and did not return to the contest.
Regardless of Makar’s intentions, McCann will be out for at least Game 5, if not longer, and represents a massive loss for the Kraken. The 26-year-old became Seattle’s first 40-goal scorer in 2022-23 and is one of the team’s most prominent players.
Kraken coach Dave Hakstol was not at all happy with the hit after revealing that McCann would miss at least Game 5: “Late hit. Really late. No puck in play. Our 40-goal scorer not available for the rest of the game.”
The Kraken ended up winning the game 3-2 in overtime, marking the club’s first home playoff victory in team history.
The Colorado Avalanche figure to be without Cale Makar for at least Game 5 as the series becomes a best-of-three headed back to Ball Arena in Denver on Wednesday.
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