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Avalanche Gameday: Back To Georgiev, Duhaime’s Impact




Avalanche fans that want to see Justus Annunen in net on Tuesday night are not going to get their wish. They’ll have to wait until this weekend, when Colorado plays back-to-back games against Winnipeg and Vegas.

Alexandar Georgiev will be back in net for the Avalanche against the Minnesota Wild. Georgiev has given up 16 goals against in his last seven periods of hockey, but he’s still Colorado’s number one goaltender, and that isn’t going to change down the stretch. Chris MacFarland said as much on the radio this morning, and even though they like Annunen, they believe in Georgiev.

Now it’s up for Georgiev to back it up with his play over the coming weeks and months.

I’m sure by now, everyone has seen the prank war between Brandon Duhaime and Marc-Andre Fleury. It ended yesterday when Fleury took the wheels off Duhaime’s car and planted some flowers on his hood. Duhaime admitted this morning that he has waved the white flag and the two had dinner last night. Jared Bednar had one question, though.

“I will say this, just to keep chipping in, I don’t know why he drove his car,” coach said this morning. “If I’m pranking Fleury on his car, I would have been catching a ride yesterday and today to make sure that just couldn’t happen, but he thought he’d risk it, and now he’s paying the price for it.”

On the ice, Duhaime has been a pleasant surprise, chipping in offensively for a guy who hasn’t really been a scorer at the NHL level. I asked Bednar if anything about his game has caught them off guard.

“We really liked his game watching him on video,” Bednar said. “Part of what makes him effective on some of those lines is his forechecking ability, his heaviness on pucks, he’s a trusted defensive player. I think he’s just scratching the surface of what he can get to on the offensive side.”

Other News And Notes

  • Mikko Rantanen skated in a non-contact jersey at morning skate, and appears on track with his recovery. The Avalanche will take a day or two off and hope to have him back for a full practice later this week. He will not play tonight, but there’s a chance he’s back for the weekend games.
  • Logan O’Connor was on the bench for morning skate, but obviously is not coming back this season.
  • There have been some that have said the plan all along was to start Nikolai Kovalenko in the AHL. I’ve tried to tell everyone that was never the plan, and Jared Bednar confirmed that this morning. The injury has messed everything up, but coach still would like to get a look at him if he can. Coach was in a good mood this morning, so I asked him if the plan is to still see him before the end of the year. The Eagles will make the AHL playoffs, so it’s possible Kovalenko splits time with both teams.

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