Goalie nods: Pickard gets chance to impress for the Avs


The Colorado Avalanche needs something – anything – to start putting some wins together. At best, they’ve been mediocre this season, and Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog won’t save the day on Saturday.

In recent years, Colorado’s best moments have almost always been authored by goalies, particularly Semyon Varlamov.

Unfortunately for the Avs, Varlamov hasn’t really gotten on track in 2016-17. It makes you wonder: should Calvin Pickard (five games played) be getting more of an equal share of the starts (Varlamov’s received 12)?

That argument seemed especially strong after Pickard generated a three-game winning streak to start the season, but his appearances were still spread out over significant stretches of time. Allowing four goals in a loss to the Coyotes on Nov. 8 didn’t help matters, either.

Maybe Saturday is the chance he’s been waiting for … one that could even get him into more games?

Devan Dubnyk looks set to play in the Minnesota Wild’s net, and in case you’ve missed it, he’s been one of the hottest goalies not named Tuukka Rask or Carey Price.

Sure sounds like an interesting “sink or swim” challenge, doesn’t it?

Around the league …

Devils: Cory Schneider vs. Kings: Peter Budaj

Maple Leafs: Frederik Andersen vs. Canadiens: (probably) Carey Price

Panthers: Most likely Roberto Luongo vs. Senators: Craig Anderson

Best guesses – Oilers: Cam Talbot vs. Stars: Kari Lehtonen

Penguins: possibly Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Sabres: Anders Nilsson

Jets: Mike Hutchinson vs. Bruins (likely) Tuukka Rask

Predators: Probably Pekka Rinne vs. Blues: Jake Allen

Sharks: Likely Martin Jones vs. Coyotes: Mike Smith

Blackhaws: Possibly Scott Darling vs. Canucks: Jacob Markstrom