Calvin Pickard is making a case for Avs’ starting job


For a while, it seemed like Devan Dubnyk was going to be the story of Saturday’s Colorado Avalanche – Minnesota Wild game. Instead, he lost a goalie duel to Calvin Pickard.

It’s remarkable that it all really did come down to one save. Pickard made 32 of 32 while Dubnyk stopped 31 of 32, and that was the difference in a 1-0 win for the Avalanche.

Now it brings up a question that is either already on the mind of the Avalanche, or should be soon: is Pickard actually a better option in net than Semyon Varlamov?

That’s something of a mind-blowing thought when you consider that Varlamov often propped up some terrible Avalanche defenses. No goalie faced more shots than Varlamov has since he took over in Colorado’s net in 2011-12.

Still, Jared Bednar isn’t being paid to look in the past, and more recent results make it a question worth asking.

Pickard now has three wins in as many starts. Varlamov is stuck at 2-5-0, and most troubingly, his .891 save percentage sits in “bad backup” territory.

Also, his numbers have been drifting downward every season since his impressive 2013-14 campaign (when he faced a ridiculous 2,013 and stopped 92.7 percent of them).

Yes, there’s a cruel “What have you done for me lately?” element to this, but fortunes can turn on a dime in sports.

On that note, consider this: Dubnyk has only allowed three goals total in his last four games. This run included another team record. And for that? He has two wins in those four contests.

Goaltending, everyone.