The Colorado Avalanche plan on keeping Calvin Pickard around through the Christmas holiday, but eventually he’ll return to the AHL, the Denver Post reports.
The logic seems understandable enough: Semyon Varlamov returned (and shut out the St. Louis Blues) and will likely get the vast majority of starts, so why not let Pickard get extra seasoning at the AHL level rather than planting him to the bench?
Pickard, 22, seems to get it.
“Varly’s the No. 1 guy here,” Pickard said. “He’s healthy now, and he deserves to play because he’s a world-class goalie and he was one of the reasons why they were so good last year. He looks ready and very good in practice.”
One cannot help but wonder if Colorado might want to consider giving both goalies some reps, at least while Pickard’s on such a roll.
Even with last night’s shutout, Varlamov’s 2014-15 stats aren’t as impressive as what Pickard has generated (all of which are in small samples, mind you). Check out Colorado’s goalie stats so far:
Pickard: 6-5-2, .939 save percentage, 2.06 GAA
Varlamov: 5-6-5. .913 save percentage, 3.01 GAA and two shutouts
Reto Berra: 2-2-1, .882 save percentage, 3.57 GAA
Would the Avalanche be better off rotation starts, or even simply having a goalie on top of his game in Pickard (rather than someone who seems pretty cold at the moment in Berra)? Perhaps, but this is clearly still Varlamov’s team.