Photo credit:© Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
NHL Notebook: Avalanche’s Cale Makar becomes second-fastest D-man to reach 300 points and Senators’ Shane Pinto makes season debut
1 month ago
Colorado Avalanche star Cale Makar made history on Saturday night as the second-fastest defenceman in NHL history to reach 300 career points.
Makar reached the feat during Colorado’s Saturday night contest against the Philadelphia Flyers. At 12:23 in the third period, Makar assisted Mikko Rantanen on a power play goal for his 26th goal of the season and for Makar’s 300th point. The Avalanche went on to claim their 30th win of the season by a score of 7-4.
Makar reached 300 points with 280 career games under his belt. Meanwhile, Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr holds the record, having reached 300 points in the first 279 games of his career.
The 25-year-old has 10 goals and 54 points across 42 games this season, putting on pace to acquire his projected 18 goals and 99 points, which would beat his career high set in 2021-22 when he scored 28 goals and 86 points.
The kid from Calgary, Alberta, has had a memorable career thus far, scoring 75 goals and 300 points across five seasons in the NHL since being drafted in 2017 as the Avalanche’s fourth overall selection. As the Calder Memorial Trophy winner, given to the most proficient player in his first year of competition, in 2019-20, Makar has continued to establish himself as a formidable blueline for the Avalanche. He helped the club reach their first Stanley Cup Championship in 2021-22 since 2000-01, where he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP) and the James Norris Trophy (awarded to the defenceman who demonstrates the greatest all-around ability in his position).
The Avalanche are now 20-14-3 following Saturday night’s win, placing the club second in the Central Division with 63 points, trailing behind the first-place Winnipeg Jets by one point. Colorado will have three days off before taking on the Washington Capitals on Wednesday at Ball Arena. The visiting capitals are fourth in the Metropolitan Division with a 22-16-6 record after 44 games.
Senators’ Shane Pinto to make season debut
Ottawa Senators’ Shane Pinto made his season debut on Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers following his 41-day suspension for gambling. Slotted into the third line alongside Mathieu Joseph and Vladimir Tarasenko, Pinto made an impactful return to the team. He assisted on a powerplay goal by Tim Stutzle in the second period. He finished with 14:33 of ice time, two shots on net, and nine face-off wins throughout the Senators’ 5-3 victory.
In October, the 23-year-old was suspended for violating the NHL’s rules around sports wagering. Pinto released an apology following the suspension, taking full responsibility for his actions.
“I want to apologize to the National Hockey League, the Ottawa Senators, my teammates, the fans and the city of Ottawa, and most importantly, my family,” Pinto said. “I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team.”
Two days before Pinto finally took the ice for the Senators, he inked a one-year contract worth $775,000. The contract, which was already being anticipated before the start of the season, was rumoured to sit around a two-year $2 million deal. Still, with the investigation going on, the deal lost some of its value.
Initially drafted as the 32nd overall selection in the 2019 NHL draft by the Senators, Pinto played his first NHL game during the 2020-21 season but ultimately only appeared throughout 12 games, recording one goal and seven points. The young forward played his first full season last year, recording 20 goals and 35 points.
After their victory on Sunday, the Senators are 17-24-1 throughout 42 games this season. They are currently last in the Atlantic division with 35 points, with the Buffalo Sabres ahead of them by an additional nine points.
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