There are a lot of warnings I could throw at Cale Makar’s goal in the OT against the ‘Hawks’ to give the Avs a 4-3 win. I’ve never been a fan of 3-on-3 overtime since it’s a forced gimmick. It’s an artificial scene designed to generate highlights like this without the usual context. Makar would not have had that kind of place even at 4-on-4. Deciding a match is still something of a home run derby, just a little less of one than the penalty shootout.
It’s also ‘Hawks’ who are sad about skating. But it’s way too cynical, and I still feel a little complacent when Makar sends Kriby Dachs pants to somewhere around Peoria here, and I’ve been on the “Dach = Bust” train for a long time. It is far the healthier method to just wonder about something like this:
Stopped at a dime is impressive enough, making Dachs ankles a fine paste. It’s as if the world stopped spinning for a second. But it’s the hands in close proximity to Marc-Andre Fleury that is the real treat. Makar is at a terrible angle here, and yet he produces enough space by falsifying the forehand shot to get to his backhand and then taking it at an angle and trajectory that only Sidney Crosby would generally think of much smaller attempts. It’s the kind of game the NHL has wanted to get on ESPN for years, and now it can. It’s disgustingly beautiful art, like Body Worlds or something.
Makar is probably the best defender in the league and that goal was his 28th point in just 25 games. It was his 14th goal, three more than any other d-man in the league. He is well underway with the first of what is likely to be a collection of Norris trophies. Such skating is simply unplayable for most people.
So yes, it’s overtime when that kind of space is simply given to players, but this was the idea. Makar also does something like this in five-on-five. The idea is that the next time Avalanche is on ESPN or TNT, more people might tune in to see what else Makar can come up with. Chances are they will not be disappointed.