TAMPA, Fla. — Understandably, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar didn’t devote much time to discussing individual awards as he prepared for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday morning at the Amalie Arena.
Only two more wins to win the cup, it’s all about the team.
Make no mistake, Bednar is proud of Cale Makar, who became Colorado’s first Norris Trophy winner for the NHL’s top defenseman on Tuesday night. But the manager only said that Makar won the prestigious award: “For me he has a spectacular season. He deserves that.”
Avalanche winger Andrew Cogliano, who is in his 15th NHL season, took those feelings to a higher level.
“It’s impressive what he’s been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time in his career and you can’t say enough about him,” Cogliano, 35, said of Makar, 23. “I don’t think I’ve seen a focus in.” my entire career on a younger player like him, how he approaches the game, how he prepares. With him, it’s the habits that make him special. The first day I got here, the way he plays the puck, the way he moves on the ice, everything he does is so single-minded he’s just amazing.
“It really, really makes him such a dominant player. I’ve never seen his focus and the way he approaches the game and the way he approaches his business, so I think he’s capable of doing what he’s done. He just has an energy and focus that makes players, and obviously people like him, some of the best to ever play the game. He’s one of those players that just keeps getting better and scarier over time.”
Makar edged out Nashville’s Roman Josi to win the Norris, though Josi received more first-place votes. He had 98 – six more than Makar. But Makar had 98 second-place votes to Josis’ 76.
Makar finished the race with 1,631 points and Josi with 1,606 points. Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman was third with 940.
Makar is the first player to win the Norris by not receiving the most first-place votes since Erik Karlsson in 2014-15.
“They’re such incredible players,” Makar said of Josi and Hedman, the 2020 and 2018 Norris winners respectively. “They’ve pushed me so hard all season, as a singles player on the ice. It’s amazing to compete against these guys. They deserve a lot of credit for the success I have personally had this year.”
Makar is in his third full NHL season but fourth in the postseason. He joined the Avs after winning the 2019 Hobey Baker Award for top college hockey player and leading Massachusetts to the NCAA championship game.
Makar leads Colorado with 26 points (seven goals) in 17 games this postseason. He has 57 points (14 goals) in 52 career NHL playoff games and his 1,096 point average is the second-highest all-time among defensemen behind Bobby Orr (1,243).
“I’m still quite young, so it’s very exciting for me to have this playoff experience at an early age,” Makar said. “You try to absorb everything. At the end of the day, it’s step by step. Being able to experience what we have as a team right now will only make us stronger going forward no matter what. But we are now concentrating on obviously winning.”
https://www.greeleytribune.com/2022/06/22/avalanches-cale-maka-rnorris-trophy/ Avalanche’s Cale Makar showered himself with praise after winning the Norris Trophy. “He’s just amazing” – Greeley Tribune