Colorado Avalanche Road Trip: 5 Keys to Success

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Brick Wall

October 18, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Colorado Avalanchegoalie Reto Berra (20) defends the goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

No one, least of all coach Roy, wants to say the Colorado Avalanche is having a goalie controversy. However, there’s no questioning that Semyon Varlamov is far from performing at his peak level.

Well, that’s not true. Many people will blame the defense for allowing too many shots to get through or screening Varlamov by attempting to block shots. However, look at his numbers from this season — a 3.26 goals against average and .890 save percentage. He’s 3-6-1.

Compare that to Reto Berra, who’s 1-3-0 with a 1.85 goals against average and .943 save percentage. In case you’re wondering, Berra has faced 141 shots to Varlamov’s 281. In other words, Berra looks like the better goalie right now, and that’s a little scary.

Coach Roy has stated Berra at the very least is getting the start against the Philadelphia Flyers. For those keeping score at home, that’s his second back-to-back start this season.

He needs to be a brick wall against the Flyers. And Varlamov has to find his old magic back if the Colorado Avalanche road trip is to be successful.

On a side note, during a post-practice press conference, Avalanche GM Joe Sakic stated:

"“[Calvin Pickard] is going to be here next year for sure.”"

Sakic also said there were no plans to recall Pickard from his dominant play in the AHL barring an injury to one of the current goalies on the roster.

Think about that first part for a second — Sakic is confident Pickard will be in net for the Colorado Avalanche next year. Your immediate thought might be as a replacement for Berra as backup. But doesn’t it also seem possible as a replacement for Varlamov in the first position?

(Before lambasting me, read how Denver Post writer Mike Chambers suggests the exact same thing.)

Next: Where's the D?