Bruins Coach Jim Montgomery Sees Bobby Orr In Avalanche Star

Cale Makar drew plenty of praise from Montgomery

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December 3, 2022

It’s not every day a player gets talked about in the same breath as one of the all-time greats in Bobby Orr.

But not every player is like Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar, and Jim Montgomery believes the comp to the Bruins legend certainly is fitting for the star defenseman.

“Bobby Orr is in a stratosphere by himself,” Montgomery told reporters at morning skate Saturday before the Bruins took on the Avalanche, per The Boston Globe’s Matt Porter. “If there’s anyone that’s ever going to come into that stratosphere, it’s going to be him, from what I’ve seen.”

Makar, who just turned 24 at the end of October, has dazzled through his first four seasons in the league with a dynamic skill set similar to Orr’s. Makar went on a tour de force last season in helping Colorado win a Stanley Cup. The UMass product not only produced 28 goals and 58 assists for 86 points en route to his first Norris Trophy, but he also took home the Conn Smythe Award as the NHL’s most valuable player in the postseason.

While Montgomery and the Bruins will try to get in Makar’s way, Boston’s bench boss had nothing but praise for the young game-changer.

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“You talk about a player that’s blessed with everything,” Montgomery said, per Bruins.com’s Eric Russo. “He has compete, he has anticipation. He’s blessed with being able to manipulate the puck with his hands and then he can make finishing plays. You are not going to deter him physically, so you have to make sure that?if you’re late you’re staying up on him, that you’re angling him, steering him to areas he can’t be used because if you try to go too hard at him when he has the puck, he is going to beat you.

“It’s a matter of how. It’s not a matter of if you’re going to stop him and make a big hit. I haven’t seen him take a big hit in the league yet and it’s because he has power, he has skating, and he knows how to manipulate your feet.”

Makar enters the matchup with the Bruins having notched six goals and 17 assists this season and is considered the favorite again to claim the Norris Trophy.

While Makar has similar traits on the ice to that of Orr, he still has plenty of work left to do to reach the acclaimed status of the Hall of Famer. Orr won eight Norris Trophies to go along with three Hart Trophies during his 12-year NHL career. He also secured two Stanley Cup championships with the Bruins.

Makar will try to do his best Orr impression when the Avalanche and the Bruins square off Saturday night at TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon
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