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Colorado Avalanche Staying with Grubauer & Francouz in Net in 2020-21

The Avalanche had a great season, losing to the Stars in overtime of Game 7. Could the team have won if Grubauer or Francouz were healthy?

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There have been rumors that the Colorado Avalanche were looking to upgrade their goaltending during the offseason, but if Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic is to be believed – and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be – it simply isn’t going to happen. That means the oft-rumored traveler from the Pittsburgh Penguins – goaltender Matt Murray – might still be moving, but it won’t likely be to the Rocky Mountain State.

Related: Survey Says… Colorado Avalanche Loading up for 2021?

The Rumors Are False: The Avalanche Are Staying Put

During an interview published last week in the Denver Post, Sakic is clear that the organization’s plans are to put its faith in the duo of  Pavel Francouz and Philipp Grubauer for the 2020-21 campaign. (from “Joe Sakic says Avalanche will stick with Philipp Grubauer, Pavel Francouz in goal, reveals latter was injured vs. Stars,” Mike Chambers, The Denver Post, 10/09/20).

Philipp Grubauer, Colorado Avalanche

It was just bad luck, Sakic implied when he admited that both his goalies “had good years. Unfortunately, they both got hurt at the wrong time.”

That’s the bad news. The good news is that, as Sakic noted, “neither of those injuries are injuries you have to worry about. Train hard in the summer and make sure it doesn’t happen again. You can’t predict injuries, but no, they both had good stretches and we expect that next year.” 

Francouz & Grubauer: Two Strong Regular-Season Goalies

As a twosome during the regular season, both Francouz and Grubauer played well. During the playoffs, Grubauer was excellent. Then he got hurt and things got tougher. Although the Avalanche hung in there, they couldn’t pull off a Game 7 playoff win.

During the regular season, when comparing NHL goalies who played 25 games or more the 30-year-old Czech-native Francouz finished tied for fourth in save percentage .924 and was sixth in goals allowed per game (2.41). Francouz played 34 games with a record of 21-7-4.

Although it was in his rookie season in the NHL, Francouz had played five seasons in the Czech Extraliga and three seasons in the KHL.

Pavel Francouz, Colorado Avalanche

The 28-year-old Grubauer is a native of Germany. He played six seasons with the Washington Capitals and just completed his second with the Avalanche. In 36 games with Colorado, he registered an 18-12-4 record with a goals-against-average of 2.63 and a save percentage of 0.916.

Related: Ex-Maple Leafs Goalie Michael Hutchinson Unlikely Avalanche Hero

What Will 2020-21 Look Like?

The two goalies almost split evenly the regular-season starts. If Sakic is correct, they’ll likely do it again in 2020-21. Given their success, why not stick with what works?

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