Colorado Avalanche Dealing With Adversity
The main goal for the Colorado Avalanche in the preseason was to get to the regular season healthy and with a full complement of players.
The preseason portion of the schedule wraps up this weekend, but Colorado is also dealing with some serious adversity.
Colorado is going a different route at the goaltender position this season, but they were still expecting to have a terrific tandem of goaltenders. Darcy Kuemper was brought in to be the starting goalie this season, and Pavel Francouz was expected to handle the backup role.
Francouz might end up being the top backup goaltending option for the Avalanche, but he won’t be handling that role to begin the season. The team has announced that Francouz will be out 3-4 with a lower-body injury, and that will put plenty of pressure on Kuemper early in the season.
The Avalanche were without Francouz a season ago after he underwent hip surgery. The team has announced that this new injury is not related to that previous injury, but he will still be missing a significant amount of time.
Jonas Johansson will now slide into the backup goaltending role in the absence of Fancouz, and it could take some time before the projected goaltending tandem is back in action. The defense should be getting a huge boost when the regular season begins, as Cale Makar is expected to be ready to play.
Makar is one of the top defensive players in the NHL and is one of the betting favorites to win the Norris Trophy. Colorado will still be solid when Kuemper is in the net, but there might not be many days off for the top goalie.
Colorado also made news this week when they announced that they were sending 2021 first-round draft pick Oskar Olausson to the OHL. Olausson will spend the beginning of the year with the Barrie Colts, and there wasn’t any real shot of him making the opening day roster.
Bednar Out With COVID-19
The Avalanche could also begin the season without their head coach as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit this franchise hard. Bednar recently tested positive for COVID-19, and the team announced that he would miss the final two preseason games.
Colorado had to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak a season ago, but it didn’t stop them from winning the President’s Trophy. They have already had a couple of players away from Training Camp as they were dealing with the virus, and there is hope that Bednar’s positive test won’t lead to more.
Nolan Pratt and Ray Bennett will take over the head coaching duties while Bednar is away from the team. Bednar will have to follow the league’s health and safety protocols before he is allowed to return.
The Colorado Avalanche begin the 2021-22 season on Wednesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks as the team is back to being in the Central Division. Colorado is the betting favorite to win the Central, but all of this adversity won’t help.
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