AVALANCHE

The Cale Makar injury is now one to watch for the Avalanche

Dec 5, 2023, 11:42 AM

The good news is Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar was present at morning skate on Tuesday after missing Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.

The bad news is he probably won’t play against the Anaheim Ducks when the puck drops at Ball Arena later tonight.

Makar, dealing with a “lower-body injury,” is “doubtful,” per Avs head coach Jared Bednar. Valeri Nichushkin and Andrew Cogliano were also missing from skate, with Nichushkin likely to go and Cogliano ruled out.

And for Colorado, the Makar injury officially bears watching. He was hurt late in Saturday night’s contest against the Ducks and didn’t play in the final three minutes of regulation or overtime. The Avalanche lost the game 4-3 in a shootout.

Makar was named the NHL’s second Star of the Month for November, and has been on fire to start the 2023-24 season. He leads the Avs in points with 34, racking up seven goals and 27 assists. He’s tied for fifth in the entire NHL in points, alongside fellow defenseman Quinn Hughes from Vancouver.

Makar admitted that it was a tough offseason, full of rehab after appearing in only 60 regular season games a year ago. It’s clear he’s a gamer, but also takes a beating. The last thing Colorado needs is for him to be in and out of the lineup again.

Again, the good news is Makar skated on Tuesday and Bednar referred to him as “doubtful.” If this were a week-to-week deal, he wouldn’t be practicing or given a game status designation.

Still, at 15-7-2 the Avalanche aren’t running away with anything in the Central Division or Western Conference. They’ll need Makar playing to get to where they want to be when the playoff picture comes more into focus.

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