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Game Review

Frankie Goes Anaheim; Do we have a goalie controversy now, Avs fans?

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Mark Terrill/AP

OK, for those who don’t get the “Frankie goes Anaheim” reference. It’s a pop-culture reference here, kids. It’s on YouTube here.:

Pavel Francouz shut out the Anaheim Ducks tonight, getting his second straight victory in goal. Now listen, far be it from me to ever suggest a goalie “controversy”, but, yes, this goose egg by Frankie puts some pressure on Darcy Kuemper for the No. 1 job.

“I think his performance was excellent tonight. He just keeps looking better and better. He looked quick, he looked very quick,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said.

I think this is good pressure, pressure you want. You want the No. 1 goalie to feel like he must play well to keep his starting job. Frankie is starting to do that, and it’s not a surprise, really. Frankie hasn’t been healthy for the most part of the last two years, but he’s healthy now and he looks it. He’s a very good goalie, and this will get interesting as things move forward I think.

Kuemper is slated to start Friday night in Los Angeles against the Kings. No matter who is in the Avs’ net, let’s admit: they have a very, very good team in front of them. They aren’t going to need to shut out opponents all that often to just get a win.

Frankie’s 34 saves tonight were a tremendous showing, though, and it definitely returns serve to Kuemper in the “battle” for the top job on this very, very good team in front of them.

“It’s a little bit type of game on the road. We (like to) score a lot of goals at home, but…” Francouz said.

But…yes, it’s a different game on the road. Yet, the Avs perfectly adjusted to such a game, I thought, after that slowish start.

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“I think it was a tight game today,” Avs D-man Devon Toews said. “We’re not going to blow every team out. But Frankie stood on his head, too.”

The Avs got goals from Sam Girard, a nice deke into the middle after a good feed from Kadri off the half-wall, and the empty-netter from Kadri.

The Avs also got a lift, I thought, from a fight between Kurtis MacDermid and Patrick Deslauriers. Big Mac continues to keep the opponents from getting away with any liberties, and he did his job again tongiht.

Kadri just continues to be all-world for the Avs. He’s now got 51 points in 33 games. Sign this guy to an extension already!

I thought the Avs looked a big sluggish in the first 15 minutes, but really poured it on the rest of the way. That doesn’t mean Frankie didn’t have to make a few really big-time saves, though, including a point-blank chance on Ryan Getzlaf, on the power play, in the third.

People who read me and listen to me enough know that I remain a Kemps backer, that I think he’s going to come up big for the Avs down the stretch. But, listen, I love the fact that Frankie is pushing him hard, just like he did to Philipp Grubauer in 2020.

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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.

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JD16

Joe’s probably saying “why didn’t I sign him in the off season?!”
Kadri is playing himself off this team. The Avs aren’t going to be able to afford him.
I’m quite RELAXED when Frankie is in net. Made some really good saves tonight. Most of them by being in the right spot.

ricoflashback

Cool Hand Frankie. What a great game by Francouz. These are the type of games the Avs used to lose. Tight checking and physical. Kuemper starts tomorrow night, not Friday. And hey, wow, a channel up for the Nuggets and back to the hockey game. Comcast like we used to know it.

Last edited 3 months ago by ricoflashback
Bob Neal

You called it, a good defensive effort and I everyone is confident in frankies play. The kind of game they’ve always struggled to win in the past.

jimstrohmeier

Well, with Frankie and Kemps both being UFA after this season, I’d say it’s Stanley Cup or bust, for both. I don’t know about Kadri, if the Avs win it all, would he stay for slightly less, just to be on a championship team? Kadri is another pending UFA. Joe is a patient GM, and I don’t think he will make the signing decision until closer to the trade deadline (when he trades for MAF).

Go Avs!

Catatafish

Kadri is gone no question about it. He is playing motivated for that career contract that is coming up next. It’ll be a big one but it won’t be with the Avs. 100%

dk

I agree, unfortunately. But a quick look around the league shows the teams who can afford the contract he’ll command are not contenders. Here’s to hoping he’d rather win than get paid.

colorado_gary

Avs clamped down on D without Nuke. That, and Francouz, were very impressive. Also the PK is no longer a sieve.

Ryan Krueger

Adrian, goalie controversy after 2 games back? You’re making a decent living at this gig right?

joshmishell

The controversial headlines are what generate clicks. Let’s just hope Frankie and Darcy stay healthy and I’m happy to have a great 1-2 punch (that aren’t MacDermids fists)

JUSTIN GIFFIN

Certainly not a “goalie controversy” going on, but it is a nice, but odd feeling to have a trustworthy backup in net again after the last 2 years Frankie has been out & not holding your breath every time a puck comes near Hutchinson/Miska/Johansson/Dubnyk.

Wayne Dunlap

Frankie (when healthy) was/is better than Grubauer and is probably better than Darcy as well. Tonight he showed that he’s back and ready to help this team win a cup.

troian

I have been wrong about a good bit, but I have consistently over the past two years thought Frankie was better than Grubauer or Kuemper. I thought it was a mistake to spend the money on Kuemper instead of elevating Frankie and using the capital on acquiring a quality physical defenseman. Results don’t necessarily support my argument (yet – we’ll see come playoff time when the competition ramps up), but Frankie has been nosing around demonstrating he is a top shelf net minder. I believe in essentially the last 3 and a half games he’s played in he’s allowed maybe… Read more »

Jared Moss

Pavel all the way I’ve always loved him.. when he’s healthy of course. His agility side to side is way better than dacry who tends to flop around. I hope frankie can take this n run

ricoflashback

Great observation. Frankie doesn’t seem to waste any energy by flopping around and overreacting. A real, steady, calm presence in the net. The right hand, catching glove is not often seen by players. Only two teams in the NHL that have a left handed goalie.

gimmepuck

Hopefully, only 1 team soon!
(with both)
😀

Bob Neal

I think he’s far and away the quickest goaltender around as he doesn’t fit the mold of most goalies that are very large. Let’s hope he stays healthy.

GWood

Quickness is the thing I notice with Francouz and its really comfirting to see that he is back to form. Ever since he has been here, he has been a rock when it comes to thwarting breakaways and in the shoot outs, just outstanding. I am good with either goalie. That fight was a show unto inself, holy cow. That was damn near more entertaining than the game. Another great win. We usually stumble out of the gates when we go to the west coast. Not this year!!!

Bob Neal

A great fight and I loved MacD waving the linesman off.

Karl Keen

Outstanding game by Frankie and our PK is suddenly good again, in fact we played better down a man at times than with 5 on the ice. They played us tough but we found a way to win. Interested to see if we check out tonight or are motivated to play better.

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