2022 Stanley Cup playoffs: Cale Makar, the “unstoppable” defenseman

We might have found a new part of hockey after three seasons. Cale Makar It is not possible to be absolute dominator.

It was the beginning the second round. 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. Comparable to some of his Colorado Avalanche Makar, a teammate, was almost fresh-faced. He had a scraggly mustache that wasn't connected to any postseason scruff. It frames his jawline underneath cheeks that are nearly constant in blush.

“Have ye given up on your dream of having a playoff mustache?” The defenseman was 23 years old when he was asked by a reporter.

When asked whether one had given up on growing a beard, Makar spoke volumes about the lack of volume in their follicles. Makar, unassisted and impressively positive, replied: “I'm just going let it go and will see where it takes me.”

Cale Makar's facial hair reflects that essence. Both teammates and opponents have seen his unmatched speed on the back end combined with his offensive prowess, which leaves them all wondering what he will do next.

A former NHL player said, “You never know what to anticipate.” You can prescout him. There are many male tendencies. Makar can be a surprise to you. He is quick, especially side to side.

Makar was also taken on by another NHL veteran: “You never know what you're going to get that night.” He could spin-o-rama, shimmy or even fire at me. He can attack you in so many different ways.

Winner of the Norris Trophy in the past P.K. Subban It's hard not to be in awe.

Subban, who last season played with the club, stated that “I have a man crush Makar.” New Jersey Devils. “With his movement out there. His hockey intelligence? Through the roof. His shot? It was really good. He is truly exceptional in skating.

Makar is the favorite to win the Norris Trophy After finishing second to Adam Fox The New York Rangers 2020-21 Both are outstanding young defensemen and deserving of their awards. If you ask around in the NHL, it is clear that Fox is a great player but Makar is a different kind of player. It's something that will last a lifetime.

One NHL veteran stated, “I wouldn’t rate Adam Fox [as an unstoppable defenceman]”. “He's not dynamic. He is smart and knows how to make the right moves around him. Makar can take the puck and do everything himself.

“Makar's a game-breaker. He's unstoppable as a defenseman.

Makar was born in Calgary (Alberta), where he played youth hockey and then joined the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Elite Prospects called Makar “one the finest talents to ever emerge out of the AJHL,” and wrote that Makar's potential “is that of a traditional franchise defender capable of doing it all.”

UMass recruited him as an assistant coach Joey Gasparini, who scouted Makar's play of midget hockey. Calgary Flames AAA program, prior to his stint in the AJHL with Brooks Bandits. According to Grand Forks Herald Gasparini was a close working partner with Bandits head coach, which allowed UMass to become more established. Makar announced his commitment to UMass Amherst in August 2015.

Makar was drafted by the Avalanche at No. 4 overall in 2017This is a high position for a NCAA player. Makar was described by Sportsnet as “offense, offense and offense” when he was chosen. This is a stereotypical portrayal of an offensive defenseman who is “one-dimensional”.

Jared Bednar, Avalanche Coach, said Makar's decision at UMass to stay for a second year, instead of jumping right to the NHL 2017-18, made him better as a player and person.

He said, “It helped him tremendously. I admire his maturity when he says, “I think that I could help now,” and then decides to stay. He had a great first year, I believe,” Bednar stated. “Go dominate the level you're at before moving to the next one,” Bednar said. Cale, I believe, was raised that way. He knew the character of his family and I think that's what he has emulated throughout his career.

Makar led a revival in the program. UMass won its first Hockey East regular season title in 2019-20. He also won the Hobey Baker Award for the NCAA's top male player and helped the Minutemen reach the NCAA championship. They lost to Minnesota Duluth in the final.

Greg Carvel from UMass stated that “I have been a coach at the level of this player for seven years and he is by far the best,” ESPN reported in 2019. It's inspiring to be around high-performing people. Cale's performance on the ice in games and practice inspires me to be a better coach.”

Makar's NHL debut was unforgettable, as he parachuted into the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs only three days after winning Hobey Baker. He scored what would be the game-winning goal In Game 3 of their series, the Flames will be up against them.

“I heard him calling for [the puck] “In his first ever game,” stated Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon. “He shouts ‘three, three' at me. This is great. You want your player to be assertive and aggressive, and I was truly impressed by it.

Makar's first postseason ended with six points in ten games. His first NHL season, 2019-20, saw him score 50 points in 57 games and win the Calder Trophy. He finished ninth for Norris. His second campaign saw him score 44 points in 44 games in 2020-21. He eclipsed that pace in 2021-22 as the NHL's offense soared to its highest point since the mid-90s. Makar was second with 86 points after 77 games. Nashville Predators defenseman Roman JosiHe scored an amazing 96 points in just 80 games.

Makar said that Josi was someone Makar looked up to growing up.

Makar and Josi met during the first round playoffs of this year's. Colorado swept Nashville. Josi had 2 points in 4 games. Makar scored 10 points in four playoff games. According to the NHL, this was the most ever recorded by a defenseman in the league through four playoff years.

Advantage: Makar.

MacKinnon declared that MacKinnon might be the best player currently in the league after the sweep and then increased the ante significantly.

“He may be the best.” [defensemen] “To ever play at all by the end his career, at this pace.”

His skating is what makes Makar different from other defensemen, both now and in the past.

“He can do everything really, really well. His skating is what sets him apart from the rest. This is not about speed skating. Subban explained that he meant effortless skating. “He's explosive. His mobility, deceitfulness… he's the type with Connor McDavid In terms of skating. He can do everything. He's a very special player, and will remain so for many years.”

Makar's skating displays Makar’s raw speed in end to end rushes. Makar's speed in end-to-end rushes is also a reason for the crowd's gasps.

“He's incredible. With the puck. Without the puck. “He just skates so good,” said one NHL veteran.

His skating allows him offensive separation from opposing teams. He's the clear No. “He's clearly the No.1 offensive defenseman in the league in finding open spaces,” an NHL analyst said.

However, his speed is also a strength defensively. Remember the draft Makar assessment? “Offense, offense, offense?” Offensive defensemen are prone to assume that they don't care about the defensive side of the ice. Erik KarlssonMakar might have been the last player to break the defense, but he was often criticised for his defensive skills.

Makar is a different story.

One NHL analyst observed that Makar was never below replacement defensively. “With high-caliber offensive defencemen like Brent Burns Oder Morgan RiellyThey almost always give up some defense in order to generate offense. Makar does not do that.”

Another analyst said, “What makes him so unique is his ability to use skating defensively to close the gap time and space for enemies and take the puck away.” He defends with a controlled aggression and an aggressive mindset.

Makar is a beneficiary of an elite defensive partnership with Devon Toews. They played 830 minutes at 5-on-5 this season, winning 59% of shot attempts and 58% each of the expected goals.

Makar said that Toews is a great person. It always feels as if one of us are up, the other is back. It's the ability to find different ways to expose their frontal check, especially in neutral zones. “We just work well together.”

However, Toews is usually the one that holds back Makar so he can go. That's one of the main reasons Makar had the second highest even-strength points of defensemen this season and also one of the main reasons he's a Norris finalist.

Makar said, “As long that I can help the team or contribute, it's about that,”

This is the kind of sentiment Bednar enjoys hearing from his star defenseman.

He stated, “It is a deep desire for win and to help the team win and to be as good as possible.” “He is clearly a person of great character. He is a great leader. He wants to make a difference every time he gets on his skates. This is how he does his business.”

Makar is now in Year 3 of the NHL. It's thrilling to imagine how these generations of players will fare — Makar, McDavid. Auston Matthews. Makar could end up being, as MacKinnon stated, one of the greatest of all time.

Unless, of course the rest of NHL figures out how they can stop the unstoppable.

You'd think that eventually, the guys will get a little bit of a book on him. A veteran NHL player said that this is especially true in the playoffs where everything is so intense and focused. “But so far, it's been a helluva player.”

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