When reports surfaced late last night from CapFriendly that Avs taxi squad goaltender Hunter Miska was recalled on an emergency loan, there were question marks regarding the health of Colorado’s top-two netminders. Sure enough, head coach Jared Bednar confirmed after Tuesday’s morning skate that backup goalie Pavel Francouz is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Shortly after making this announcement, Bednar added that Andre Burakovsky was also dealing with an upper-body injury — “something that’s been nagging him,” he said — that will keep him out day-to-day.
“I don’t know if it’s just tonight or it’s something that’s longer than that,” Bednar said of his two injured players. “We’ll see as the trainers give me that information everyday when I get to the rink, and we’ll try to make the best decisions for our lineup at the time.”
Bednar said Francouz tweaked something in practice on Monday before the team’s flight to Los Angeles. Given Francouz required minor surgeries on his knee and hip this past offseason, one could make the assumption that it may have something to do with that, i.e., general soreness.
On Saturday morning, I made an appearance on ESPN 1600 to talk some Avs hockey, and when I was asked about the one thing that would hold back this Avalanche team from taking it to the next level, I said healthy goaltending. I did not, however, expect these injury problems to occur two games into the season. Let’s hope the Avs are getting all this stuff out of the way early.
The Avs did get some good news this morning, too. Defenseman Erik Johnson, who missed the entirety of training camp and the first two games of the season battling COVID-19, will make his season debut tonight against the Kings. He’ll be the seventh defenseman, according to Bednar.
“I’ve actually really liked the way he’s been moving these last few days,” Bednar said. “…I don’t know how much he’ll play. I plan to use him early and as the game goes on; we’ll see. We got six other capable guys back there in the lineup that did a heck of a job last game too. It’s a good spot to be in.”
Bednar said he’ll roll with 11 forwards and seven D tonight, which will look like this:
And on defense:
Puck drop from Staples Center in L.A. is at 8 p.m. MT
A couple of Kings notes: Calvin Petersen will start in goal for LA, his first start of the season. Swedes Carl Grundstrom and Lias Andersson will be inserted into the lineup as forwards.