‘Whirlwind day’ ends in a loss for Pickard, Avalanche

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For Calvin Pickard, the cliche about getting thrown into the deep end seems appropriate for this occasion.

Pickard was called up to the Colorado Avalanche from the AHL Lake Erie Monsters for Thursday’s game against the Ottawa Senators. He was initially the back-up to Reto Berra, who was filling in for the injured Semyon Varlamov, who earlier in the day was placed on the injured list with a groin ailment.

Of course, as if it was scripted this way, Pickard suddenly found himself in the action early in the first period when Berra was injured.

Pickard called it a “whirlwind day” for him, according to The Denver Post.

Only problem, it didn’t end in a win, which would’ve been his first in the National Hockey League. The Avalanche took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission, but surrendered four unanswered goals in a 5-3 loss to the Senators.

Pickard, Colorado’s second-round pick from the 2010 draft, made 23 saves on 27 shots. The Avalanche have just one win in their first five games.

“It was not an ideal situation for him,” Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy told The Denver Post.

“But we cannot be happy with our game, overall. We had 13 turnovers – if we (commit) turnovers when you’re up by one goal, eventually the puck’s going to end up in the net. You can blame it on the 22-year-old goalie but, hey, we have to better with the lead, a lot smarter than that.”