Ramblings – Dark Horse Goalies, Boudreau’s Impact, Bennett’s Underlying Numbers, Burakovsky, Walker and more (Dec 13)



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Goalie Alert: Pavel Francouz has been recalled from the minors and Jonas Johansson placed on waivers. Avalanche goaltending has been a nightmare, with Francouz getting injured (again), Kuemper being below-average at best, Johansson performing terribly and Justus Annunen being okay in two starts – but still a good two years away from being ready. But Francouz is back from his conditioning stint with the Eagles and he was excellent in four games there, going 3-1-0 with a 1.52 GAA and sparkling 0.945 SV%. He was my favorite preseason dark horse goalie because Kuemper has not only been injury prone, but he was just plain bad in his final season with Arizona. In 2020-21 his SV% was 0.907 and his goals saved above average was below zero (-0.68) for the first time in four seasons. Now this year it's -3.76 heading into the Sunday game against Florida.

Darcy Kuemper in his last 62 games from December 19, 2019 through December 11, 2021:

26-28-3, 2.90 GAA, 0.905 SV%, just 48.4% Quality Starts and -8.3120 GSAA.

If Francouz can stay healthy – and now we'll see if he's a Band-Aid Boy or twice stricken with bad luck – then he's a very real, very elite dark horse. The job is right there for him to steal. Kuemper did his best to stave him off with a solid outing on Sunday, allowing two goals on 33 shots.


Nazem Kadri is sidelined and Andre Burakovsky just lost his centerman. But hold up