Cale Makar gets sheepish talking about himself, and he’s had to talk about himself a lot lately. That’s what happens when you’re scoring the way he is.
“I don’t think this is going to continue,” he said last week after scoring two goals in a game for the second straight game. “But it’s definitely fun.”
To some extent, Makar was right. That two-goal game was part of a five-game goal streak that ended Saturday against Nashville (he settled for three assists instead), and he almost certainly won’t score at his current 44-goal pace all season. Modern-era defensemen don’t put up those types of numbers. Mike Green is the only blueliner to score 30 or more goals in a season this century, putting up 31 with Washington in 2008-09, and no one has scored 40 or more since Paul Coffey in 1985-86.
But Makar isn’t the typical defenseman. The 23-year-old is an offensive savant, a player who can walk the blue line with unparalleled grace, can facilitate for teammates and can break out a dangerous wrist shot.
“He’s a special player,” coach Jared Bednar said. “Especially in that position on the offensive zone blue line, he’s as good as anybody I’ve ever seen.”
And this season’s numbers show it. Despite missing two of the Avalanche’s 20 games, Makar is already up to 10 goals and 21 points, scoring most recently on a long-distance strike Thursday in Montreal.