Colorado Avalanche netminder Alexandar Georgiev has been excellent to start the season, there’s no denying that fact. After giving up another four goals to Pittsburgh on Thursday night, it appears that Georgiev is likely in need of recharging his batteries for a stretch.
After looking as sharp as ever in the first four games of the season, all wins, Georgiev has come back to earth a bit over the last three games, allowing twelve goals in that span, four in each game.
The Colorado Avalanche have won all but one of those games, a 4-0 loss in Pittsburgh on Thursday night, but it appeared over the last few games that Georgiev likely needs a break.
The entire team did not play well last night, and it’s not entirely on the goalie when a team gives up four goals in a game, however, it is clear that Georgiev is not as sharp as he was earlier this season.
With the goaltending situation as precarious as it is team-wise, usual backup Pavel Francouz is out for an undetermined period; with each day passing it appears that his return is further and further away. The backup goalie, Ivan Prosvetov, is unproven at this level. It’s understandable why Bednar would keep going back to the well with Georgiev, having played every game this season.
Bednar obviously knows a bit more about this team than I do. He’s a Stanley Cup-winning coach and knows the right buttons to push—after all, the Avalanche are 6-1 this season, lead the Central Division and set a record for consecutive road wins with 15.
Bednar has said that he is going back to Georgiev on Sunday in Buffalo. This is a mistake.
What better way to see what Prosvetov can offer than against a middle-of-the-road, non-conference team in a matinee game? If the majority of the crowd spends enough time on Chippewa St on Saturday night, the atmosphere won’t be raucous.
By giving Prosvetov the start Sunday against Buffalo, Georgiev will also be fresh to play against division rival St. Louis at home on November 1st. Most teams would rather have their top goaltender against a division rival.
Bednar gave Georgiev a break for the last portion of the game against Pittsburgh, and Prosvetov saved all five shots he faced in eight minutes of action. He showed he was capable in that game.
It’s time to provide him the opportunity to prove himself as a reliable backup goalie, and also give Georgiev a break. It is still early in the season, and if this season ends as we hope it does, Georgiev won’t get much rest during a long playoff run.
Obviously, I don’t coach the Colorado Avalanche, and don’t claim to personally know the pulse of the team. From the outside looking in, it’s clear that Georgiev needs a rest, and now is the time to provide that to him.