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Avalanche D Cale Makar suspended one game for hit against Kraken F Jared McCann

Colorado defenseman won’t play in Game 5 for his interference penalty in Game 4 on Monday night.

Cale Makar #8 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on after his penalty after checking Jared McCann #19 of the Seattle Kraken during the first period in Game Four of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Climate Pledge Arena on April 24, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Update — Makar is being suspended for Game 5 of the first round vs. the Kraken for his hit on McCann. It’s unclear if McCann will be able to play in Game 5 at this point.

Without Makar, the Avs are now -190 on the ML from -210 before the suspension. The Kraken are +160 and now -155 on the puck line at +1.5. Seattle +195 on the series line is perplexing. This has been super even and now the Avs are missing their second-best player. This series seems destined for seven games and could go either way.

Colorado Avalanche D Cale Makar will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Tuesday for his interference penalty on Seattle Kraken D Jared McCann in Game 4 on Monday night.

The call on the ice was a major penalty on Makar for the hit. McCann would go down and leave the game, unable to return. Jordan Eberle would go on to score the game-winner in overtime to give Seattle a 3-2 win and tie the series 2-2. The hit appears to be very late and McCann wasn’t ready since the play had been whistled dead.

Makar will likely get suspended for at least Game 5 of the series, which is Wednesday back in Colorado. Without Makar in that game, the Avalanche could struggle to maintain offensive zone time and get the puck up the ice. The Avs’ defense is deep with Bowen Byram and Devon Toews, plus Sam Girard. They’ve also got a lot of experience playing without Makar this season. Still, it’s not a great spot in a must-win contest in Game 5. Dropping that game and going back to Seattle with the Kraken in position to advance would be less than ideal for the defending champions.

The loss of McCann is something the Kraken can withstand but it isn’t ideal either. He led the team in goals with 40 this season. It doesn’t look like Andre Burakovsky will be back in time for Game 5. The Kraken could opt to go with seven defensemen and tighten things up. Philipp Grubauer has been strong in net with a .916 SV% and 2.76 GAA against one of the more potent offenses in the NHL.

The Avalanche are heavy favorites at home at -210 on DraftKings Sportsbook for Game 5 at home. Seattle has kept the series close and have been in every game. Even without McCann, you’d think losing Makar to a suspension would be worse. Kraken +180 feels like a gift if Makar is going to get a one-game ban. Be ready to hop on either the ML or puck line (Kraken +1.5 -140 has a lot of value as well).