Contrary to a common narrative often advanced around here, especially of late, Pavel Francouz — who turns 32 on Friday — didn’t come out of nowhere.
The Avalanche goaltender played professionally for eight seasons in Europe, including in his Czech Republic homeland and in the Kontinental Hockey League with Russia’s Tractor Chelyabinsk, before the Avalanche signed him as a free agent in 2018.
He had been the winning goaltender for the Czech Republic in games in the IIHF World Championships and in the Olympics, and in playoff games in the European leagues.
After his 24-save shutout of the Oilers in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals Thursday night, he’s 4-0 in the 2022 playoffs for the Avalanche with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. His NHL career playoff record is 6-4.