Is Pavel Francouze the Real Deal for the Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz finally seems to be becoming the backup goalie the team has anticipated he be.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz was just credited with allowing four goals, so it might seem a little odd to be asking right now if he’s the “real deal.” However, the desperate Chicago Blackhawks, whio started the season 0-9 and who went into the game 22 points behind the Avalanche, peppered him with 43 shots. A whopping 23 of those shots came in the wild third period, which the team went into up 4-2.

So, despite the crazy game Colorado just played in Chicago, the question remains: Is Pavel Francouz a legitimate goalie choice for the Avalanche?

The team’s history with Francouz has been muddied. He had a promising “rookie” season at the age of 28. In fact, an undrafted player, Francouz was technically aged out of being called a rookie in his first NHL season. In any case, he went 27-17-3 with a .918 save percentage in the AHL that year.

He spent a great year as Philipp Grubauer’s backup, going 21-7-4 with a .923 save percentage. And then his career took a detour as he was plagued with injuries. He missed the entirety of the 2020-21 season because of injury, which put the Avalanche in a goalie pickle.

The Colorado Avalanche nonetheless re-signed him, and we thought the 31-year-old goalie would maybe get a chance to show off. He then injured his ankle in practice early in the season, ending up on LTIR. The Avs’ goalie situation seemed in jeopardy once again.

Well, Francouz has finally returned, and it seems we see a return of his promising career as well. After so much time missed, he definitely needed to work some of the rust off. However, he’s won his last five games in a row. Indeed, he’s only played seven games, but he’s already gone 6-1-0.

What’s more, the Avalanche have had a record January. Their 14 wins are the most wins in January in NHL history. All six of Francouz’s wins came this month, so he had a big hand in that historic month.

Pavel Francouz isn’t meant to be the Colorado Avalanche starter. And the jury’s still out on whether Darcy Kuemper is going to be enough of a backstopper to take Colorado to Stanley Cup glory. However, Francouz is proving to be enough of a backup goalie to at least give the Avalanche a chance to find out.