Both goalies to play vs. Wild
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSS
Coach Jared Bednar said Tuesday that goalies Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz will split time Wednesday when the Avalanche play Minnesota in an exhibition game at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Bednar said he also expects both to play in the three round-robin games starting Sunday against St. Louis.
“We’re not going to announce anything (about a No. 1 goalie for the Stanley Cup playoffs) because we have time,” Bednar said. “I think it’s important for our lineup to get into this exhibition game and I think it’s important that both goalies play. We’re going to split the net (Wednesday) with the goalies, give them both some time in game action against a real opponent.
“I expect them to split the round-robin games as well. I’d like to get both those guys playing and get some games under their belt before we head into the playoffs. Our decision for a starting goalie, our Game 1 goalie for playoffs, will be determined between now and then.”
Grubauer went 18-12-4 this season with a 2.63 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 36 games. He missed the final 13 games with a lower-body injury he sustained Feb. 15 against Los Angeles in the Stadium Series game at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Francouz started 12 of the final 13 games in Grubauer’s absence (Michael Hutchinson started the other game) and went 8-2-2. He finished 21-7-4 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in 34 games.
Bednar said the lines at practice Tuesday remain unchanged, but defenseman Samuel Girard didn’t skate. He said he expects Girard to be back Wednesday.
These have been the lines:
Andre Burakovsky -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen
Gabriel Landeskog -- Nazem Kadri -- Valeri Nichushkin
Vladislav Namestnikov -- J.T. Compher -- Joonas Donskoi
Matt Nieto -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Matt Calvert
Assuming Girard is ok, the defense pairings:
Ryan Graves – Cale Makar
Samuel Girard – Erik Johnson
Ian Cole – Nikita Zadorov
It sounds like Bednar plans on dressing an extra forward and defenseman. Tyson Jost and Conor Timmins?