blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: Today In NHL History - Makar Declines Penalty

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Today In NHL History - Makar Declines Penalty

On December 19th in 2022, Colorado Avalanche blueliner Cale Makar fell to the ice circling his net with New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal in pursuit, prompting a raised arm from referee Brandon Blandina with 44 seconds remaining in a scoreless first period.

When Makar realized that Barzal was being blamed for the spill, he motioned to the referee that there was no infraction on the play, prompting the official to reverse the call and decline the penalty.
After the game, Islanders coach Lane Lambert applauded the act of sportsmanship as "Just an honest player who wants to beat you fair and square." Barzal echoed his coaches comments, despite confessing "I don't know if I would have done the same, to be honest with you."

Meanwhile, Makar made sense of the situation as follows:
"I just felt like it was a really obvious one. The ref that called it wasn’t the guy at center ice, he was kind of behind the net on the far side, so I don’t think he had a good  angle on it, he just saw me fall. I mean, I like to think that most times I fall it’s usually because someone trips me, but  that one, I just lost an edge. I felt pretty guilty for the boys there, so I apologized to them."
Although an extremely rare occurrence, Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin did something similar eight months earlier in Vegas after the referee signaled a penalty after Ovi lost his balance.
The Avalanche earned a 1-0 shootout win over the Islanders.

That's today in NHL history.