DALLAS — Cale Makar made NHL history and reacted with a shrug.
The generational Avalanche defenseman penned another incredible chapter of his meteoric hockey rise in Monday night’s 3-2 shootout victory at the Dallas Stars. Makar opened the game with a power-play goal to become the fastest blueliner in league history to amass 200 career points. It took him only 195 games.
Makar typically deflects the significance of his personal statistics. Is this legendary milestone any different?
“To be honest, not really,” Makar told The Denver Gazette from inside the visitor's pregame dressing room at American Airlines Arena. “Two hundred points is just another step in the road. I’m not overly concerned about that.”
Others will gladly brag about Makar’s achievements. Even his opponents.
“I don't think anyone in the world has the same potential as Makar," said Dallas coach Pete DeBoer, when asked to compare Makar to Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen before the game. “That’s just reality.”
Makar, 24, is equally respected among Avalanche teammates.
“There are not enough words to describe how he does it at both ends of the rink. He plays 30 minutes, no problem. Everything is impressive. We’re just happy to have him with us,” forward Mikko Rantanen said. “Most hockey players are humble compared to other sports. He’s of course one of them. He doesn’t talk about his own things. It’s always a team-first mentality. All the guys on this team, that’s what we try to build together.”
Forward Evan Rodrigues added: “(Makar) doesn’t get too high or get too low. He’s kind of a calming influence. You don’t see him show too much emotion and I think that’s what makes him so consistent. He stays levelheaded and brings his 'A' game day in and day out.”
Makar’s 200 career points in 195 games are more impressive when you consider the legendary defensemen who needed more time. Makar outpaced at least nine Hall of Fame blueliners — Sergei Zubov (207), Brian Leetch (211), Phil Housley (212), Dennis Potvin (212), Mark Howe (216), Bobby Orr (216), Paul Coffey (221), Ray Borque (226) and Al MacInnis (233) — to reach the milestone.
Makar glanced at that list Monday after morning skate in Dallas.
Who stands out?
“Pretty much every single guy there. I know all those guys,” Makar said with a sheepish grin. “It’s pretty cool.”
That’s the biggest reaction you can expect from Makar on a historic run to 200 points. He's set the expectation for greatness.
“It’s not surprising to me,” coach Jared Bednar said.
FEWEST GAMES TO 200 CAREER POINTS AMONG DEFENSEMEN IN HISTORY
- Cale Makar (COL): 195 — Calder, Norris (1X), Smythe (1X), Stanley Cup (1X), All Star (2X)
- Sergei Zubov (NYR, PIT): 207 — Hall of Fame, Stanley Cup (2X), All Star (1X)
- Brian Leetch (BUF): 211 — Hall of Fame, Calder, Norris (2X), Smythe, Stanley Cup (1X), All Star (5X)
- Phil Housley (BUF): 212 — Hall of Fame, All Star (1X)
- Denis Potvin (NYI): 212 — Hall of Fame, Calder, Norris (3X), Stanely Cup (4X), All Star (7X)
- Mark Howe (BUF): 216 — Hall of Fame, All Star (3X)
- Bobby Orr (BOS): 216 — Hall of Fame, Calder, Norris (8X), Smythe (2X), Hart (3X), Ross (2X), Stanley Cup (2X), All Star (9X)
- Gary Suter (CGY): 219 — Calder, Stanley Cup (1X), All Star (1X)
- Paul Coffey (EDM): 221 — Hall of Fame, Norris (3X), Stanley Cup (4X), All Star (8X)
- Ray Bourque (BOS): 226 — Hall of Fame, Calder, Norris (5X), Stanley Cup (1X), All Star (19X)
- Al MacInnis (CGY): 233 — Hall of Fame, Norris (1X), Smythe (1X), Stanley Cup (1X), All Star (7X)