The Colorado Avalanche have signed goalie Calvin Pickard for another year, the club announced today.
It’s reportedly a two-way deal worth $850,500 at the NHL level.
Pickard is coming off an excellent rookie season, albeit in a limited role. The 23-year-old appeared in 16 games, 13 of them starts, and registered a .932 save percentage.
On three occasions, Pickard was forced to make more than 40 saves. That included a 47-save effort at Pittsburgh on Dec. 18, though the Avs actually lost that game, 1-0, in overtime.
With Semyon Varlamov firmly entrenched as the No. 1 in Colorado, Pickard will have to battle Reto Berra for the No. 2 role next season.
Given Pickard will be on a two-way deal and is exempt from waivers, more time in the minors seems likely.
It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.
That’s what the U.S. showed Thursday in its quarterfinal against Switzerland at the World Hockey Championships — after spotting the Swiss a 1-0 lead, the Americans rallied to score three unanswered for a 3-1 win, advancing to the semifinals for the second time in three years.
Charlie Coyle scored the game-winning tally midway through the second period, just a minute after San Jose forward Ben Smith had scored to even the game at 1-1. Smith’s goal canceled out Roman Josi’s highlight-reel marker that put Switzerland on the board in the first period, and Jake Gardiner scored the insurance tally with less than 10 minutes remaining.
For the U.S., Connor Hellebuyck continued his strong play this tournament, stopping 21 of 22 shots for a.954 save percentage. Colorado netminder Reto Berra made 21 saves for Switzerland.
As mentioned above, the win moves the U.S. into the semis, where it’ll face the winner of the Russia-Sweden game (to be played later today).
For years, the Winnipeg Jets have faced criticisms – often justified ones – for sticking with Ondrej Pavelec. It only seems right, then, that he’s played the best hockey of his divisive career to help the Jets clinch their first postseason berth since moving back to Winnipeg.
The Jets actually lost tonight, yet Pavelec was perfect before the shootout, eventually falling to Reto Berra and the Colorado Avalanche 1-0 (SO). He’s now generated three consecutive shutouts, even if he’ll take the loss:
Remember when he couldn’t even hold onto the Jets’ starting job? Granted, one may argue that Pavelec is a tough handful of playoff games from bringing Michael Hutchinson back into the future, yet management must feel brilliant sticking with the acrobatic goalie through thick and thin.
The Calgary Flames may have secured the Jets’ playoff spot to some extent by beating the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, but Pavelec and a handful of other stalwarts like Blake Wheeler stand as the true heroes.
As far as adding some extra context, the history angle shifts depending upon how you view this current edition of the Jets.
If you look at this as the adapted Atlanta Thrashers, then this is the franchise’s first playoff bid since they made their only appearance during the 2006-07 season (only to be humiliated by the New York Rangers).
If you look at this as Winnipeg Jets 2.0, then this is their first playoff berth since 1995-96.
Whatever way you slice it, the Jets muscled their way through some serious turbulence to finally make the playoffs, and opponents would be foolish to expect a smooth ride when facing them.