Avs Training Camp Goaltending Recap

Justin Goldman


Calvin Pickard


The dynamic of Colorado’s two-day training camp had a bigger impact on the goalies than any other position. Since timing and confidence is everything for a goaltender to start the new season, to be lacking in either of those areas will certainly lend a hand to struggling over the weekend. Even more important, however, is the negative effect of almost no one-on-one time with their new goalie coach, Kirk McLean.


It happened last season with Jocelyn Thibault. For two days, he ran drills with Billy Sauer, Peter Delmas, Tyler Weiman, Trevor Cann and Peter Budaj. The comments below were the opening paragraph of my goaltending recap of last year’s training camp:


“A prospect can improve at an incredibly fast rate when someone that mastered the position at the NHL level is constantly providing that prospect with feedback. Especially with a position like goaltending, one that relies on non-stop progression and refinement, having a goalie consultant that understands the nature of the game (especially in 2009) and can relate to today's elite puck stoppers is the most important factor in developing the goalie depth chart.”


This year, however, I did not see McLean do any legitimate goalie-specific drills with the prospects, neither during Rookie Camp nor at any point this weekend. That lack of goalie training over the last five days seriously affected two Avs prospects that have tremendous long-term value and potential – Brandon Maxwell and Calvin Pickard.


Both goalies struggled in training camp, but not because they lack the skill or confidence needed to excel at the pro level. It was simply due to the extreme jump that comes from facing shots at the major-junior level, taking the summer off, then facing shots at the NHL level. That alone is an extremely tough task. But having to do it without the valuable advice that comes from an NHL goalie coach is nearly impossible.


But even without the goalie-specific drills with McLean, all of the Avs goalies did plenty of things that impressed the coaching and scouting staff over the weekend.


CRAIG ANDERSON – When all was said and done, Anderson performed in a very similar fashion to last year’s training camp. You can read more about his performance earlier in the week, as not much changed over the weekend. He still chose to stand up to stop a number of shots as opposed to the typical reaction we would see during the regular season.


Overall, I was not alarmed or i