Ramblings: Francouz Shuts Out Oilers, What to Do with Marchand and Wilson (June 3)

Ian Gooding

2022-06-03

If there were any doubts about Darcy Kuemper not being available for Game 2, Pavel Francouz erased them with a 24-save shutout to give the Avalanche a 2-0 series lead. Francouz was playing in his fourth game of the playoffs but making just his second start. He probably didn't face the Oilers at their best, as the Avalanche were too much for the Oilers to handle. Still, Francouz did all that he needed to.

Kuemper is a UFA this offseason, and it remains to be seen whether the Avalanche can afford him. Next season, Colorado's goaltending could easily be Francouz with a $2 million cap hit and another small-to-medium-ticket option. Assuming Kuemper is out longer, Francouz could leverage a strong playoff run into a bigger workload than he had this season (21 GP total). The Avalanche are the kind of team that carries play enough that they simply need a dependable goalie – not a superhuman that has to steal games.

After a Game 1 that averaged nearly five goals per period, the two teams actually went scoreless in the first period. Then in the second period, the Avalanche erupted for three goals in just over two minutes. Nazem Kadri recorded assists on all three of those goals, originally being credited for the first goal. Kadri on a $4 million cap hit is one reason that the Avalanche are playing games this late in the season.  

Mikko Rantanen scored just one goal over the first two rounds, and it was an empty-netter. Now he has goals in back-to-back games. He has also recorded multiple points in back-to-back games. Better late than never in the goal-scoring department if he's in your playoff pool, although he has 12 assists in 12 games.

Nathan MacKinnon scored a power-play goal in the third period to pad the Avalanche lead to 4-0. His 11 shots in Game 2 is the second-highest single-game total of the playoffs. Only teammate Cale Makar recorded a higher single-game total with 12 shots in Game 2 of the Nashville series.

With a goal and an assist in Game 2, Artturi Lehkonen has six points (3 G, 3 A) in his last six games. He's