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RAPID REACTION: The One Reason Why The Avalanche Lost



Avalanche Georgiev

No team can overcome a .696 save percentage in the playoffs. The Colorado Avalanche tried their best, but you can’t overcome goaltending that is that bad.

Yes, the Avalanche made mistakes. Every team makes mistakes, especially in the playoffs when you’re playing a very good team. You can’t be punished for every single mistake you make, though. On Sunday night, in game one, when his team put played really well in a tough environment and scored six goals against the best goaltender in the world, Alexandar Georgiev did the one thing he simply can’t do.

He lost his team the game.

That’s really all there is to it. The Avalanche were very clearly the better team in game one. At even strength, the numbers are pretty staggering. They out-attempted the Jets 73-37. They outshot them 39-19. Scoring chances were 28-16, and the high-danger chances were 10-7, all in favor of the road team. That was the loudest building I’ve ever been in, and the Avalanche did everything right to quiet them early in the game.

None of it mattered. Every mistake ended up in the back of their net. Our angle from the press box had a great look at Georgiev in the first and third periods, and on the first goal, he made himself small. Really small. Yes, there was a screen, but when you’re only covering 50% of the net, you’re not giving yourself a great chance to make a save.

None of the players threw him under the bus after the game, and I didn’t expect them to, but you can tell they’re losing confidence in him. How could they not? I don’t believe the TV cameras caught it, but after the fourth goal, Devon Toews started to skate away, then turned around and gave Georgiev a look for about half a second. I don’t know if he said anything, but that felt like a defenseman looking back at his goaltender and thinking, “can you just make one big save for us?”

At that point, it was four goals on just 10 shots. It only barely got better from there.

Everyone knew Georgiev was going to play the entire game no matter how bad it got. Even Georgiev admitted after the game that he knew. Justus Annunen missed morning skate with an illness, and wasn’t well enough to dress. That left Arvid Holm, with all of 0 NHL games under his belt, to back up Georgiev. They weren’t going to put him in the net no matter how bad it got.

And it got bad.

The fans in Winnipeg, who were incredible, had the chants going in the third period.

“Pull Your Goalie.”


Georgiev is not an easy name to chant, but they nailed it. I don’t think it’s going to get any better in game two. As soon as that first goal went in, Winnipeg just started chucking pucks at Georgiev. Wouldn’t you?

And yet, the Avalanche still only gave up 23 shots on goal. They played well enough to win this game, and I don’t know if anyone can question that.

They didn’t, and there’s only one reason why. Is he in net on Tuesday night?

If Annunen is healthy, I’m not sure he should be.

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

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