The Colorado Avalanche took another hit shortly after a blowout overtime loss to the Seattle Kraken that tied their first-round series at two games apiece.
Star defenseman Cale Makar is suspended for Game 5 Wednesday night after his knockout hit on Jared McCann.
Early in the first period, Makar put McCann on the draw after Alexandar Georgiev stopped McCann’s breakaway chance with few players. The puck was out of play, but Makar equalized the hit, which was ruled a penalty for interference.
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Makar remained in the game, but McCann was lying on the ice before being attended to by medical staff. He eventually left the game and didn’t return, and Seattle has already ruled him out for Game 5 and possibly beyond.
Makar was initially judged as a five-minute major, but video playback changed the decision. Even though the severity of the penalty lessened in the game, Makar met with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
«It is important to note that McCann is in no way eligible for review on this play,» the league said. «Makar finishes this shot well outside the window allowed to end a check. Also, it is clear that Makar knows that McCann is not in possession of the puck when he decides to take this shot.
«While we heard Makar’s assertion that he assumed the puck would bounce off the corner and the play would continue, it is Makar’s responsibility to make sure this occurs before initiating contact. The result of this play is a body check on a player. vulnerable who is not eligible to receive a blow that causes injury».
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«It’s unfortunate. I never want to hurt the guys,» Makar said. After the match. «Hopefully he’s okay. At the end of the day…I didn’t feel like I tried to finish him off that hard. But, I mean, I feel like if I was in that scenario, they would have done the exact same thing.» The same. I’m not trying to hurt anyone. It’s just an unfortunate, hard bounce there. They got the right call, and that’s all you can ask for.»
McCann scored 40 goals in the regular season, becoming the first 40-goal scorer in the franchise’s brief history. Makar, the 2022 Norris Trophy winner for best defenseman, scored 17 goals and provided 49 assists in the regular season for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
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The series returns to Denver for Game 5.