The Colorado Avalanche got an amazing performance from rookie goalie Adam Werner when he went in on relief of Pavel Francouz.
Colorado Avalanche rookie Cale Makar scored a highlight-reel goal. No big deal. Joonas Donskoi added to his points total with a three-point nigh. Meh. Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals and earned a four-point night. Yawn.
The news of the night is that Adam Werner made his NHL debut, and he earned a 40-save shutout.
Werner was not supposed to play tonight. He was supposed to sit on the end of the bench. He was supposed to sit in full goalie gear but a hat on his head instead of a mask as he watched Pavel Francouz make his third start in as many games.
Unfortunately, just 30 seconds into the game, Mark Scheifele drives the net and crashes into Francouz:
It’s awful to see how he just lays prone on the ice. Unfortunately,
, coach Jared Bednar had no update on his status, though
"“I’ve seen [Francouz] walking around and it seems he’s doing OK. We’ll get a word from him once the medical staff sees him.”"
That apparent injury to Francouz meant the Swedish kid sitting on the end of the bench, who’s only played nine games of North American hockey, was going in for the Avalanche.
Needless to say, he crushed it. As stated, he recorded 40 saves including from the likes of Blake Wheeler (two shots) and Patrik Laine (eight shots!).
Here are some of his amazing saves:
He could have been forgiven a loss. He had to go in just 30 seconds into the game with little mental preparation. He’s never played an NHL game in his life and, like I said, he only has nine North American games to his name — all with the AHL Eagles.
Nobody expected such a performance from the big goalie — he’s listed as 6-foot-5, 205 pounds. However, I’ve been wondering about him since a couple seasons ago when he played four games with the Rampage before returning to Sweden.
Here he is, getting ready and going in:
Well, the Avs players protected him in the first period. However, as you can tell from the amount of shots he faced, the rest of the game was trial by fire.
I like quite a few things about his game. It’s not his game, but I like his size — he just takes up so much of the net. He’s also sound positionally but can make the highlight reel save.
And he’s got to have some calm in his demeanor — ice water in his veins. Because he accomplished quite the task tonight.
Here’s his official 1st NHL win shot:
He also — very cutely — asked the refs if he could keep the puck from his very first save.
Bednar said of Werner that he was impressed with how the goalie looked in practice. He added:
"“You never know how a guy’s going to handle the situation ’til they get thrown in. He certainly made the most of it.”"
Yeah, I’d have to agree with that. He’s the first goalie in Avalanche history to earn a shutout in his very first game with the team.
Meanwhile, Adam Werner appears to be the only healthy goalie the Colorado Avalanche have. Philipp Grubauer is still day-to-day with his “nagging,” unspecified injury, though he is on the road trip. I can’t imagine Francouz could play day after tomorrow after being out cold on the ice.
So, it’s hard to know who Werner’s backup would be.
Well, I do with the injury bug would stop chomping so hard at the Colorado Avalanche. Truthfully, it’s getting ridiculous. However, if Werner starts on Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers, I’d feel confident in his ability.