EDMONTON, ALBERTA – As feared, but as expected, the Avalanche will be without No. 1 goalie Philipp Grubauer for a while, maybe the rest of the playoffs.
Grubauer will be out “I don’t know for how long”, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Sunday. As Colorado Hockey Now reported earlier today, the Avalanche will recall goalie Hunter Miska from the Colorado Eagles to serve as a third goalie, though paperwork was still being done Sunday to facilitate his arrival into the Edmonton bubble.
Grubauer suffered a lower-body injury in the second period of Game 1 against the Dallas Stars Saturday. He needed assistance off the ice, and had been bothered by hip-groin problems earlier in the season. Pavel Francouz is the new No. 1, with Michael Hutchinson the backup. Miska, at least for now, will serve as a third goalie.
There is other bad Avs health news: Erik Johnson is doubtful for Game 2, Bednar said. Johnson suffered a suspected knee injury in Game 1 and tried gamely to play through it before having to shut things down after two periods.
Bednar said he is evaluating “all possibilities” for a replacement for Johnson, which could include the addition of Conor Timmins, Bo Byram, Mark Barberio or Kevin Connauton to the lineup. Timmins might have an edge over the others, as a right-handed shot. Typically, coaches like to have a lefty-righty combo for defensive pairings. Johnson is a right-hander, and Timmins is the only righty among those four.
Matt Calvert is “day-to-day”, Bednar said. He was a sudden. late unfit-to-play scratch after taking part in warmups Saturday.
Bednar said the coaching staff exhaustively reviewed video from the Game 1 debacle, and said the Avs’ problems are “curable.”
“That doesn’t guarantee a victory, but I expect us to be much better in Game 2,” Bednar said.
Francouz, who shut out Dallas in the round-robin portion of the postseason, will start in Game 2.
“We’ll ride with Frankie,” Avs defenseman Ian Cole said.