Colorado Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz has gotten off to a hot start, showing he’s earned a spot at the big table.
The Colorado Avalanche’s Pavel Francouz has shown that he’s an NHL goalie — and a good one at that. We’re just two full games into his NHL career, and he’s perfect so far. I’m not saying he had two shutouts, but he did record two wins.
The 29-year-old first-year goalie (he’s, ah, aged out of being called a rookie) started his first game against the Arizona Coyotes on October 12 at the Pepsi Center. He faced 36 shots and made 34 saves.
What’s more, the game went to overtime. Imagine that — Francouz’s first-ever NHL start and it goes to three-on-three, heart-attack overtime. He only faced one shot in overtime, but he made the save, which allowed the Colorado Avalanche to score — and win — in overtime.
He earned first star of the night honors in that game. Here’s one of his most electric saves:
I wish I had access to the interviews he does directly after the games with Altitude announcer Lauren Jbarra. He’s more relaxed since it’s one-on-one and, you know, he’s not a native English speaker. However, here’s his presser from right after that game:
It is interesting that he acknowledged that he was focused but nervous — that the upcoming game was “in the back of my head.”
He started again last night in what some pundits called a “scheduled loss” because Colorado was coming in on the second game of a back-to-back against a lethal, rested Tampa team.
And… they may have been tired at times. The score doesn’t show it, helped by a hat trick from Tyson Jost and additional goals from Gabriel Landeskog, Nazem Kadri, and Mikko Rantanen. However, Franouz faced a ridiculous 46 shots.
Oh, and that included a penalty shot from self-same Nikita Kucherov. He stopped it. No big deal.
Here’s his highlight save from the Tampa game:
Now, again, I lament the lack of access to the Jbarra inteview right after the game. He was modest about that save, remarking that the fans will like the save, but he and his goalie coach won’t — because it started out as a mistake.
Two games into his NHL career, after stealing a game that was a “scheduled loss,” and Francouz is critiquing his highlight-reel save. In his official presser, he called it a “fun night.”
Here’s the presser:
I really like this
kid young man man. He doesn’t display the swagger I personally associate with goalies. But when he’s in net, he’s ice cold.
I said this before, but I feel confident when Francouz is in net. His positioning his solid. He turns mistakes into highlight reel goals. He’s simply a dependable presence in the crease.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that the Colorado Avalanche have just as solid a goal tending tandem as they did last season. And that’s saying a lot considering one half of that tandem is a 29-year-old first-year player with just two games to his name.