The Colorado Avalanche are supposed to have two number-one goalies. I’m not saying that’s not the situation. And I already made my case for starting Philipp Grubauer more often if the goal of this season is to further the youth movement.
Semyon Varlamov has the better statistics. In his 13 starts, he’s recorded a 2.32 goals against average to Grubauer’s 3.36 and a .926 save percentage to .896. That said, Philipp’s record is marginally better — 4-1-2 to 6-5-2.
I guess when you look at it that way, you do have two number-one goalies in that each man has his strengths and weaknesses. This is an interesting year for goal tending because the 30-year-old Varlamov is in the final year of his contract, while the 26-year-old Grubauer is in the first of a three-year deal.
In other words, you should be looking at a goalie who’s ending his Avs career as a new one is beginning his. But I don’t know that it’s that simple.
Right now, Colorado has two goalies properly in the pipeline — Spencer Martin and Pavel Francouz. Right now, Francouz in the better of the two. He has a 6-4-1 record with a GAA of 2.92 and a save percentage of .912. Martin is 0-3-2 with a GAA of 4.29 and a save percentage of .858.
Francouz is 28, though — two years older than Grubauer. Is he the future of Avs backup goal tending? Hard to say yes — he’s not that dominant at the lower level.
Somehow I feel the Avalanche will have to either sign a true NHLer to back up Grubauer or sign Varlamov to an interim deal, which is kind of the same thing.