Connect with us

Morning Skate Diary

If Francouz is fit to play, would you even start him?



EDMONTON, ALBERTA – We probably won’t know the starting goalie for the Avalanche in Game 6 until the pregame warmup. We don’t know the latest health status Pavel Francouz right now either. So here’s your question of the day, Avs fans:

Even if Francouz were healthy, would you start him? Or would you just stay with Michael Hutchinson?

Kind of a tough call, right? On the one hand, if Francouz were healthy again, wouldn’t you just say “Hey, the guy had a real good regular season. OK, yeah, he’s been awful for most of this series, but maybe sitting out a game and getting his head together will be just what the doctor ordered. Faith in Frankie!”

On the other hand:  “Are you kidding? The way Frankie looked in that last game, the way he’s looked in every game this series? No thanks, I’m staying with the guy who stopped 31-of-34 shots. Hutch is Clutch!”

What do I think? I don’t know. Tough call. I can go with either of those two imagined sentiments above and feel justified with either one.

I asked longtime friend Pierre McGuire of NBC yesterday which way he’d go if he were Jared Bednar and the answer was this: “I’m not sure where the entire team his health-wise, so not fair for me to answer hypothetically. They need to play the same way in Game 6 but stay out of the penalty box.”

Superstreak Bonus!

That’s right. No matter who is in goal, the Avs have to keep that scary Dallas power play off the ice as much as possible. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt if the Avs could get their PP going again too. They went 0-for-6 in Game 5, including a whiff on a 5-on-3 for 1:37.

Let Dallas be the frustrated team again. Let some of their veteran guys kick themselves of the game with misconducts, the way Blake Comeau and Joe Pavelski did. Let Rick Bowness keep thrusting his hands in the air, bemoaning the fates over any call that goes against the Stars.

For that to happen, the Avs need to take care of the puck, use their speed advantage and swarm the net. None of this dilly-dally, east-west game they love to play sometimes. They do that, it won’t matter who’s in the Dallas net.

Or theirs.

Subscribe to CHN+ today!

Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

“They need to play the same way in Game 6 but stay out of the penalty box”



I would start Hutch again.. He earned another start… And yes,,, stay out of the box!!!


That is a tough call – but either way I think whomever starts needs to be on a VERY short leash.

NO WAY!!! Hutch seems to have more poise right now and is bigger.

Brandon Eccles

I think who starts in net is irrelevant…. both goalies are not NHL elite enough to steal you a playoff series. They have a game here or there but are not Marty B or Patty Roy good to lean on for a must have W.

This is all about our offense getting going early again and defense playing lockdown… As the NHL scout keeps writing, “defense wins championships! That’s it, that’s the comment!”

And for the love of all that is holy…. Stay Out Of The Box!

William Ernst

There is no way McGuire gave that short of an answer.



Aaron Hinton

In Hutch We Trust.


Depends. One bad game knee-jerk (given through most of the season he arguably the team’s best goalie)…or “play the hot hand” (here, more like “don’t play the cold hand”) intuition? History shows it going both ways so this is where the coach shows his worth…but as others have observed, and I completely agree, it’s really less about the goalie and more about what the team in front of him does…stay out of the box, play disciplined, attack smartly…


Give Frankie the chance to find his game. The one that had him in the top tier during the pre covid season.

chippy play

Unless the injury is one that affects his mobility, I go with Frankie. He’s the better goalie by a mile.

Charlie Anderson

Frank of course.

The real issue is why it is ok for the Stars to goon it up and get away with it, at least get a way with it for a period more than they should have? The refs don’t throw any Stars until late in the third? Effing BS. When the Avs defend themselves they get called. BS!!! Why is the league ok with this? What kind of message is the NHL trying to send here?

Charlie Anderson

Every single whistle FFS. “You guys scored so we’re going to punch you in the face every whistle!” How is this ok someone explain it to me, I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist, I just need a rational explanation for the way the refs have managed this series. Any thoughts?

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Adrian Dater, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

This site is in no way associated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. Copyright © 2019 National Hockey Now and Adrian Dater.