Toews-Makar: NHL’s Best Husband

DENVER – At 23, in only his third season in the National Hockey League, Cal Makar confirmed his place among the league’s top defenders this year.

His 28 goals propelled him to first place in the league among the defensemen. His 86 points lifted him into second, 10 points off Roman Josi, who had had an amazing season with the Predators in Nashville.

Fourth pick in the 2017 draft – Nico Hescher was drafted first overall by the Devils, Nolan Patrick second by Flyers and Miro Heskanen third by the All-Stars – Cal Makar became the first NHL defender to score at least 25 goals and add to the 55 assists in the regular season since Al MacInnis in 1990-91.

In the playoffs, Makar attracted so much attention with his outstanding performance that he is no longer just one of the best defenders in the National Hockey League, but one of the best in the ring.

Nothing less!

But there is more. But there is better.

Having topped Romain Jose in the first round of playoffs with a historic production 3-0 and 10-point sweep of the Breeds in the avalanche, Makar has been touted as the best defense since his glory years. The best defender of all time, but perhaps the best player.

Is it a lot? Is it too fast? Time will tell.

But Makar’s offensive stats open the door to this kind of comparison, however premature and perhaps exaggerated.

With 12 goals and 53 points after 50 playoffs, Makar is averaging 1.06 points per game.

Bobby Orr is the only defensive man in history – playing at least 40 matches – to defeat him with an average of 1.24 points collected per match. Brian Letch ranks third with an average production of 1.02 per game.

After 15 playoffs this season, Cal Makar already has five games in which he has earned three points or more. To give an idea of ​​the magnitude of this statistic, Makar shares second place in history—among defenders—with Denis Botvin who achieved the feat in 1981. Paul Covey leads the way with six games of three or more points in the 1985 spring playoffs with the Edmonton Oilers.

Another eloquent highlight: Makar’s five points (one goal) in the fourth and final game of the Western Final, which Avalanche won over the Edmonton Oilers, set a NHL record in part in a crucial game.

Hedman vs. Duel Headquarters

In the first round, Cal Makar beat Romain Jose, one of his rivals in the Norris Cup race awarded to the best defender of last season.

Now in the Grand Final, Makar meets his second challenger in the Norris race: Victor Hedman.

Good! The duel between the two men will have no effect on the results of the Norris Trophy which McCar can add to the Calder Cup he earned at the end of his first season with the avalanche. The votes have already been counted and results will be announced in Tampa on June 21.

But this duel could allow Makar to outsmart the person many consider to be the best defensive man in the NHL at the moment.

The young defender also won, on Wednesday, during the first match of the final, the first round of this duel between him and the veteran Hedman.

True, the giant defender had an assist while Makar was eliminated in a 4-3 win snatched up by an avalanche in overtime. But by closely observing the work of the defenders, we noticed many bad passes, turns, missed passes and a slightly weak position in the defensive area on the part of Hedman compared to the part doing the overtaking. He. She.

Hedman was knocked out by Andrei Burakovsky’s game-winning goal after the Lightning star defensive tackle missed a breakthrough and fellow youngster Mikhail Sergechev lost the ball to a Lightning hack.

Makar is also fishing. He was allowed to be hypnotized by Nikita Kucherov, who worked magic to prepare the second goal of “Screws” scored by Ondrej Balat.

“I was lazy in this game because I never got back to protect the hole. I lacked focus and that shouldn’t happen again,” admitted the young linebacker who shows the maturity of a veteran with 10, 12, 15 seasons in the NHL.

Makar also saw that his shots were defensively blocked (six) or missed the goal (three). That won’t stop him from shooting as much as he can on Saturday in the second game of the final.

“You have to take credit for Lightning. They play very well defensively. It will be necessary to take measures so that the pucks are not blocked in the first line, but at the same time sometimes it is better to distribute the puck than to shoot. We will take the means,” Makar emphasized. To be more effective.

Best duo in the ring

Is Kal Makar really better than Victor Hedman? What roman josie? Is he really, at 23, the closest thing to illustrious Bobby Orr?

The answers will fluctuate according to each other’s level of partisanship.

However, what is undeniable is that Makar and his extraordinary business partner make up the best defensive duo in the NHL.

At least in my eyes.

Hiding in the shadow of his young fellow, Devon Toews is a true quiet force. He totally compliments his partner who doesn’t understand why all the attack is focused on him when Toews deserves so much attention.

“Devon is one of the best defenders in the league. He’s in my eyes anyway. When I asked him on Tuesday, during Big Media Day, he answered Makar to tell me about his teammate.

“He is good in all aspects of the game. We really make a duo that complement each other perfectly. He is one of the big people responsible for our success in the season and since the start of the qualifiers.”

Acquired from the New York Islanders in October 2020 in exchange for two second-round picks — one in 2021 and one to be picked in July in Montreal — the Toews thrived in Colorado.

Less offensive productivity than a teammate – 13 goals, 57 points in 66 games for Toews, 28 goals, 86 points in 77 games for Makar – Devon Toews has a difference of +2. Toews and Makar together publish a +100 differential. While it is true that the pros and cons do not always refer to the truth but only the truth, it is better for it to be +100 than -100 let’s say…

At 28, this fourth-round pick (108e Choice) in 2014 makes the islanders look bad, who let him go because he had to cut their salaries and also to make way for Zdeno Chara.

And Devon Toews isn’t at all upset about the development under Makar.

“Playing with Cal helps a lot, and to be honest, I like this situation where I don’t care much about him,” Toews admitted.

Immediately reunited, Makar and Toews quickly developed a bond that allowed them, along with their respective talents, to form one of the best duos in the NHL. It might be the best.

“It’s not like I’m the only one backing the offense while Devon stays behind. We both love to attack in the attack zone. Coordinate the attacks. Take shots. We quickly learned to anticipate each other’s intentions well to avoid giving up on our primary role, which is defense,” Cal Makar said. about our lands.

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar emphasized that defenders always had the green light to back the attack. The privilege extends to every appearance and not just the members of the first duo. “Clearly Cal and Devon are getting more out of Jack Johnson. But they all have the right to speed up and it’s up to the attackers to be vigilant and see when it’s time for one of them to take over defensively.

In the first match on Wednesday, Cal Makar played 33 matches with a total of 28 minutes and 50 seconds. He was, by far, the most used player for both teams.

Toews had the same number of appearances, but spent three minutes fewer on the ice. Its 25min 36sec usage still beats all Lignting players’ uses.

In 15 matches since the start of the playoffs, Makar has played 12 matches lasting 25 minutes or more. Toz: 10.

Cal Makar played eight matches lasting over 28 minutes; Four are 29 minutes long and one is over 30 minutes long. Devon Toews played three minutes +28, two +29 and one +30.

To say they are still on the rink is no exaggeration.

Landing in front of reporters Friday morning after avalanche rehearsal, Devon Toyos and Cal Makar showed some hesitation when I asked them to reveal what their business partner’s best quality was and what, if anything, was wrong to highlight.

“Inside or outside the rink? Because if it was off the ice, I wouldn’t know where to start,” said Toyose with a laugh.

“The thing that impresses me the most with Cal is that he always shows the same determination in everything he does on the ice, whether it’s in practice or in the match. He is totally committed every single day,” added the defender, who plays to the left of this duo.

Showing an earnestness reminiscent of that of Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, Cal Makar also underscored his teammate’s commitment. “I can showcase a lot of qualities, but consistency in commitment and gameplay is essential to success. When we jump on the ice, I know I will benefit from the full commitment of my partner.

What is the defect(s)?

“I’m going to embarrass myself a little,” Devon Toews concluded, and soon left the interview table…



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