Makar was honored to win the Norris Cup, focusing on the trophy with an avalanche

Tampa – Cal Makar He said he appreciated winning the Norris Cup, awarded annually to the best defender in the NHL, at the 2022 NHL Awards on Tuesday.

But winning the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche remains the ultimate goal.

Avalanche advances 2-1 in a best of 7 streak against the Tampa Bay Lightning heading into Game 4 at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, CBC, SN, TVAS).

“Obviously (I) am honored to be considered for this award…but for me, I have to quickly turn the page here and prepare for tomorrow,” Makar said on Tuesday.

video: Cal Makar Wins the Norris Cup for Best Defender

The 23-year-old became the first defensive man in Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordic history to win the Norris, as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, with 1,631 points. roman jose Of the Nashville Predators, who won in 2020, they finished second in this year’s vote with 1,606 points. It was the closest race to the award since then Eric Carlson He won it with the Ottawa Senators against Shea Webber (Predators) in 2012 (1,069-1,057).

Victor Hedman Of Lightning, who won in 2018, he finished third with 940 points.

Makar and Hedman play against each other in the cup final. Hedman is trying to help Tampa Bay win a third championship in a row.

“They are great players,” Makar said. “They’ve pushed me really hard all season, just like an individual on the ice. It’s amazing to be up against these guys. There is so much to credit to them for the success I’ve had personally this year.”

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Makar led the defense team during the regular season with 28 goals and came second after Jose in points (86) in 77 games to help Colorado (56-19-7) to occupy the first place in the Western Conference. He was ranked second among the defensemen with a rating of 48+ behind his teammate Devon Toze (Plus -52) tied for first place with six winning goals.

Makar leads Avalanche with 26 points (seven goals and 19 assists) in 17 Stanley Cup playoffs. Colorado is 14-3 this postseason.

4th pick by Avalanche In the 2017 NHL Draft, McCar scored on his debut, a 6-2 win over Calgary Flames in Game 3 of the first round of the Western Conference on April 15, 2019. Colorado qualified for the playoffs in both seasons. Makar’s first four, and he learns a little more with each experience.

He has 57 points (14 goals, 43 assists) in 52 post-season games.

“I’m still very young, so having this experience at such a young age is very exciting for me,” Makar said. “You’re just trying to absorb everything. At the end of the day, it’s step by step. Being able to try what we have now as a team, that will make us stronger in the future no matter what happens. But obviously we’re focused on winning now.”

Makar has four points over his first three games of the cup final, including two assists in a 6-2 loss in Game Three here on Monday. Avalanche earned two wins from its first Cup since 2001 after back-to-back victories at home to start the series.

“You can’t think too far,” Makar said. “Obviously we still have a lot to do but as a team we have put ourselves in a great place now. We just have to take advantage of that.”

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