Colorado Avalanche should consider starting Justus Annunen in Game 1 vs Jets

Winnipeg Jets v Colorado Avalanche
Winnipeg Jets v Colorado Avalanche / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The Colorado Avalanche will face the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs sometime in the next couple of days. The exact date has yet to be announced as of this writing, but there are some thoughts going around about when the game will happen.

Something else I had thought of and brought to the attention to a podcast on Wednesday night is the idea of the Avalanche keeping Alexandar Georgiev on the bench for the first game of the series. That would mean that Justus Annunen gets the start. I like this idea for several reasons.

I think that getting Annunen into some playoff action early on could boost his confidence. If he does exceptionally, his confidence could go through the roof. If things don’t go as planned, it would be a learning experience and potentially not a huge deal with it being the first game of the series. I know the risk of a Game 1 loss being a momentum shifter, but that’s why they play a minimum of four games in a series.

When it comes to hockey, emotions are high a lot of the time and that has been proven by Georgiev. I don’t expect him to just stand in net with a blank stare, but I just have not been a fan of his body language when things go wrong. That being said, it feels as if Georgiev allows plenty of “soft goals” and maybe having him sit in Game 1 would allow him to regroup to prepare for extensive work down the road.

The Colorado Avalanche are also winless against the Winnipeg Jets this season. My confidence in this series isn’t very high, I admit. I know it’s not all on the goalie. It’s the entire team. The defense has let the goaltenders down far too often, but maybe with Annunen in goal, something could be done. I think that he needs and possibly deserves more playing time.

The Avalanche signed Annunen to a 2-year extension recently and I feel like getting him into playoff games early would be a smart idea. It won’t surprise me if he eventually takes Georgiev’s job at some point later down the road.