Stanley Cup or Bust, that is the mantra for the Colorado Avalanche coming into the 2021 season.
Last season did not finish the way the Colorado Avalanche would have wanted. Coming into the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Playoff Bubble the Avs were one of the top teams in the league and the second seed in the West, but lost in seven games to the Dallas Stars in the Second Round.
Going into the offseason there were not many questions as it came to roster construction. Aside from adding defenseman Devon Toews in a trade from the Islanders and nabbing veteran forward Brandon Saad from Chicago, Head Coach Jared Bednar will have his entire group back from last year.
This is the same group that finished with the second highest point total in the Western Conference. Now, let’s take a look at the 4 Big Questions facing the Colorado Avalanche in the 2020-21 NHL season.
4. Are Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz a Stanley Cup caliber tandem?
One of the few questions facing the Colorado Avalanche coming into the season is what they have between the pipes with Pavel Francouz and Philipp Grubauer. The two goalies split the duties between the pipes last season in 70 regular season games. Both finished the regular season with very respectable numbers, Francouz with a 2.41 GAA and .923 SV % and Grubauer with a 2.63 GAA and .918 SV %, and the Avalanche are seemingly heading into the postseason with a two headed monster in net.
Though when the Playoffs started, Grubauer seemed to take control of the crease with 5 wins in 7 playoff games with a 1.87 GAA and a .922 SV %. Heading into the new season it seems that Grubauer will be the No. 1 netminder for Jared Bednar and the Avs. If the Avalanche want to win the Cup this year, however, they will need both goalies to step up in the postseason and take over some games.