Colorado Avalanche Goalie Calvin Pickard Earning Shot at No. 1 Job

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche announced Monday afternoon that Calvin Pickard will be starting in net against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. He now has a chance to earn the starting job.

To say that Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov’s numbers have been bad would most certainly be an understatement. Not only are Varly’s numbers atrociously bad in comparison to Pickard’s, they are also absolutely dismal when compared to the rest of the NHL.

Only Steve Mason and Michael Neuvirth have a save percentage worse than Varly’s out of goalies that have played at least five games. And, only Louis Domingue has a GAA that is worse than good ‘ol Semyon Varlamov out of goalies that have played five or more games.

Meanwhile, Calvin Pickard is steadily trucking along with the fifth best save percentage in the league, and the third best GAA in the league.

Granted, he has technically only started three games, and come into one game via relief. So, his numbers are rather green, but one number does matter: Picks has a 3-0 record in the three games he has started.

More on that here:

Related Story: Avs Should Ride the Hot Goalie

Well, it turns out that the Avs are going to ride the hot goalie. And, that is very good news folks because Picks has looked fantastic this season. More importantly, the Avs have looked extremely confident playing in front of him.

Calvin Pickard With a Chance At Earning the Starting Job

This is the chance that Calvin Pickard has been playing for ever since hockey became a serious career option.

And now the chance to realize that dream rides with the rise and fall of his glove, and the immovable-object-ness of his blocker.

In other words, if Picks stays hot, then he will stay in net, according to Jared Bednar:

"We talked a lot about how we’re going to handle our goalies. We’re into a good portion of the season now and we’re going to evaluate it day-by-day. If we have a hot goalie, then we’ll ride him and kind of move on from there on a week-to-week basis."

That’s a good sign — at least currently — because Picks has certainly been deserving of the phrases “hot” or “on-fire.”

The Colorado Avalanche are also in desperate need of a hot goaltender right now because they are in a scoring slump in a real bad way.

The Avs have eight goals in the last six games…

And, they will most certainly continue to be very reliant on their goaltender if they keep scoring at that clip…

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Picks has been the answer so far this season with keeping goals out of the net. Now, he has a chance to prove that he can be that man for the majority of the season.


These are tense times, times thick with it, the tension, and the Avs need some kind of move to sever that tension. Perhaps moving Calvin Pickard to a more prominent role in goal, and giving him a shot at the starting job is the necessary move.

Time will tell.

He does have a rather small sample size for success so far this season.

Nonetheless, he is undefeated. And, he is posting numbers that may help the Avs win in these desperate times — times where vulcanized rubber hitting twine seems to be a rare commodity.

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Furthermore, this move could end up being a dead indicator of what goalie needs to take a hike via trade before the expansion draft.

Let that thought continuously linger in the back of your heads while the season progresses. The Las Vegas (Thieves) are ready for the expansion draft at all times and unprotected goalies are prime for the Vultures.

The moment strikes, will Calvin Pickard be ready?