The Colorado Avalanche didn’t only lose the opening game of their series against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night - they lost a few key members of the lineup. Sunday afternoon, head coach Jared Bednar spoke to the media and mentioned that he expects to be without his starting goaltender as well as two key veterans.
Bednar mentioned that Philipp Grubauer will be out for the foreseeable future while defenseman Erik Johnson and forward Matt Calvert are both out day-to-day.
Early in the second period Saturday night, Grubauer went down in some obvious pain after what looked like a routine kick save. Knowing his history with injuries to his legs and groin, fans should not be optimistic that he will be back any time soon.
Colorado’s goaltending duties will now fall squarely on the shoulders or Pavel Francouz. The 30-year old rookie was great this year when he was forced into the starter’s role due to another Grubauer injury. Not only do some fans believe he can easily fill the starters role, many believe Francouz is the better of the two Avalanche goalies. This will be his chance to prove it.
Francouz finished the regular season with a 21-7-4 record and a .923 sv% in 34 games.
Johnson left the game after colliding with former teammate Blake Comeau. He is doubtful going forward but is set to be re-evaluated before tonight’s game. Assuming he is unable to play, the Avs will need a defender to step into the lineup and play a big role. Coach Bednar mentioned Sunday that all of Mark Barberio, Kevin Connauton, Conor Timmins and Bo Byram would be considered for the role.
Calvert missed Game 1 as well after suffering an injury in the first round series against Arizona. He isn’t expected back for any of the games this week.