Jared Bednar is no Vic Fangio, thank goodness. But, Lordy, are the Avalanche’s goaltending choices for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs starting to remind you a little of the Broncos’ quarterback derby very last summertime. And not in a great way.
Darcy Kuemper or Pavel Francouz?
Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater?
Does it make any difference?
Select a facet, Front Array. Due to the fact there’s a possibility that neither man will get you where by you ultimately want to go. And that is to a victory parade.
“You’ve witnessed during the playoffs, how several teams are on to their second goalie and some teams, their 3rd,” Avs mentor Jared Bednar reported just after his team survived a wild, 8-6 acquire in Game 1 of the NHL’s Western Convention Finals.
“And (they’re) trying to survive (with) not owning capable goaltending from much more than a person guy. And we have it.”
Stanley Cup worthy? Not if Tuesday night’s sequence opener was any harbinger what is to come.
And, to be good, the opposition experienced a good deal to do with that. If you are the Avs, taking part in Edmonton is like taking part in some evil, substitute-universe, Alberta edition of on their own. The Oilers have star power in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisatil and Evander Kane, speed and savvy by means of four strains, and more than enough electrical power on offense to electric power 15 town blocks.
Bednar’s roster is like the Pacific Ocean — it arrives at you in relentless, crashing waves. The Avs went into the third spherical of the postseason with 16 various playoff scorers and eight skaters netting two plans or much more. The Oilers, coming into Tuesday, experienced manufactured 14 and 9, respectively.
Kuemper remaining Match 1 with an upper system harm, a 6-3 guide, and much more issues from a fan foundation that saw two or three also quite a few delicate objectives allowed from the Blues. Francouz came off the bench and obtained thrown to the wolves against a person of the most popular offenses on ice, stopping 18 of the 21 pictures he faced — together with some big ones in the last two minutes as the desperate Oilers battered him with a gentleman edge.
“(Francouz) was great. That is hard,” Avs star Nathan MacKinnon reported of his backup netminder. “Playing the two ideal gamers in the entire world, peppering you as shortly as you occur in — it was genuine amazing by Frankie.”
Outstanding, certainly, presented the context.
It was not automatically definitive, either.
And when a reporter asked Bednar for an update on Kuemper’s ailment for Match 2 on Thursday evening, the mentor only provided a terse “Yeah, we’ll see.”
Only a sadist would envy Bednar’s solutions going ahead, pending Mount Darcy’s well being. Try Josh Manson in target? Coax Patrick Roy and his 56-yr-previous legs out of retirement?
“No, undoubtedly not the way,” Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar, who was fantastic Tuesday, “that we want to enjoy a sport with these men (Edmonton).”
Amen. Offering up six ambitions in your to start with Western Convention Finals appearance in 20 yrs is a little tricky on the eyes. To say very little for the coronary heart.
“We know secure,” Bednar stated, “is demise.”
But why is a three-intention lead, at dwelling, so blasted slippery?
That wasn’t hockey. It was whiplash with professional breaks.
It was each no-retains-barred video game tournament in your dorm room, the types you even now giggle about a long time later, played out in actual lifetime in between the two speediest hockey groups in North America.
(Just after Makar’s ponder intention that finished the very first period, it’s not an unfair comparison. Sometimes, you have to make your personal luck. Or the replay gurus in Toronto decide to make it for you.)
At 7-3, you had been cracking wise about soccer scores. At 7-4, you exhaled and hoped for the best.
At 7-5, following a flukey target by Edmonton’s Derek Ryan early in the third stanza, you held your breath.
Right after a regrettable Gabe Landeskog penalty for wrapping up McDavid introduced an Oilers electricity play and a further objective — cripes, it’s 7-6!— from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, you held your rosary beads. For expensive lifestyle.
“I think we have a ton to clear up, defensively,” Avs ahead J.T. Compher stated in the understatement of the night. “If we want to acquire additional game titles in this series, we have a little bit to clean up up.”
Kuemper or Francouz?
Lock or Bridgewater?
Does it matter?
If a coach says he’s acquired two quarterbacks, it usually means he doesn’t have any. When Bednar suggests he’s bought two goalies, on this phase, it suggests the identical darned thing.