Jump to content

Avs send Pickard back to Lake Erie


Recommended Posts

The Colorado Avalanche have officially decided to send rookie goalie Calvin Pickard back to the American Hockey League, Lake Erie Monsters.


"Sometimes you have to make a hard choice, but this choice is in the best interest of the player." Said Roy, "We feel for his development he needs to play a lot, sitting on the bench up here could hurt him." The tough choice comes after the young rookie went 3-2-0 since being called up. Two of Pickard's three wins came in relief to Avalanche backup Reto Berra and the third win against the Arizona Coyotes. Pickard was dominate in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks where he managed to stop 42 of 45 shots on goal, however in his second career start against the Montreal Canadians, Calvin looked like a rookie on 2 of 4 goals scored, mind you they were very good shots and partial breaks, he would stop 26 of 30 in the game. 


Though it is easy to jump the Pickard train and say give the kid a shot, the Avalanche have to look at this in a much more broad situation. Semyon Varlamov will be the number one guy and is expect to play in a boat load of games for the rest on the season. With only 57 games left, if Colorado wants a playoff shot, it is safe to think Varly will start 45-50 of those remaining games. Calvin Pickard made a statement to the organization with his play, that he can be counted on and he is more than ready to play net at the NHL level. He also hopefully gave Reto Berra and eye-opener that defines, "watch your back." Pickard will be the number one guy in Lake Erie, forbid something happen to either Avalanche goalie, Calvin will easily get the call up. 


When will Reto Berra get a chance to redeem himself? Well, if Patrick Roy sticks to his philosophy that a starter should only play 3 games and get a break, it could come December 11th against the Winnipeg Jets. After the signing of Marty Brodeur by St. Louis, I would not expect to see Berra against St. Louis. Roy could also get away from his every 1 for 3 and allow Varlamov to play up to 6 or 7 games if all goes well. I could expect the Avalanche to play Reto Berra against the Buffalo Sabers 20th of December. Berra will need to prove to the team that he is capable of getting out of the 1st period with out allowing 3 goals on 10 or less shots. He will need to prove to the team he has regained confidence. Patrick Roy is not afraid to yank a player and sit them, I would not be shocked to see Calvin Pickard back in the NHL if Reto Berra continues the play he was in his last few starts. With Francois Allaire having made a trip to Denver this past week, Berra was able to work with him. Maybe allowing a little bit of that confidence to sink back into his mind, but only time will tell. 


Until the next time;


Colorado plays the Calgary Flames, December 4th in Alberta, Canada. Colorado could have one or two players back, but that may be doubtful. I would expect to see players return after the Winnipeg Jets game on the 5th when the Avalanche have a three-day break between games. 




Rookies -


Colin Smith looked like a lost rookie against Montreal, he gave up a turn over in the offensive zone that lead to a scoring chance, Pickard had to bail his Lake Erie teammate out. Smith was reassigned to Lake Erie.


Michael Sgarbossa - Sgarbossa looked like he has played a few games in the NHL before, he had a few quality shots, some decent defensive play and is being rewarded, staying with the team for at least one more game. This kid could easily get his first career goal or assist if he continues where he left off against Calgary.


Karl Stollery was recalled from Lake Erie today (December 2nd) - it could be a sign that an Avalanche defensemen is hurt and no one knows, OR Patrick Roy is finally sick of Nick Holden's horrible play in all zones of the ice. Holden, a team worst -16 was on the ice for 3 of Montreal's 4 goals.


On the Plus:


Ryan O'Reilly gets his 4th goal of the season and 2nd in 3 games, if O'Reilly can keep up the confidence and get himself going, O'Reilly will ignite Duchene, and Duchene will light up Iginla. This line could become a serious weapon with the MacKinnon, Landeskog and Tanguay line clicking already.


Add in some healthy 3rd and 4th line guys, ignite lines 1 and 2, and a healthy goalie, Colorado becomes that much more scary for any team. The only thing lacking would be Nick Holden and his confidence, Nate Guenin has started to produce in the last two games, with 2 points and a +4. Jan Hejda wanted to beat himself up after the game in Arizona where two terrible plays went against him in the Avs win, even with a -6 and 4 points, Hejda has been the most consistent defensive defense-men for the Avalanche this season. 


If Reto Berra can get back to the Berra that played Boston early in the season, and Semyon Varlamov can stay healthy and consistent, the Avalanche should be able to pull back into the Western Conference playoff race. With one fail D in Wilson out for the season, and one injured until mid-December at best, and healthy forwards on the way, Colorado is back in faith for a playoff spot.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

@  As a Varly owner, I just became a big Reto Berra fan.....GO RETO GO!!   Block Pickard so he can't steal Varly's job...ha ha. Honestly though, I expect Varly to come back real strong and think the Ave's as a team will play a tighter game in front of him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No way Picks steal Varly's job. Had he gone 7-0 in his 7 games, I could see it, or maybe 6-1. I think Pickard has a lot to work on, the positioning of his glove will hurt him at the NHL level and needs work. His angle choices are not precise enough against elite guys. He showed how solid he CAN be against Chicago, but the kid needs more development. I think he will go back to ERIE and dominate as long as his D picks their game up. I like the thought of Pickard playing and not benched as a back up. RETO should rebound and Varly seems good to go, though he was "good" last time. We will see what happens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...