Colorado Avalanche: What Pavel Francouz being out means for the team

Pavel Francouz suffered an injury during the game against the Vegas Golden Knights and will be out for 3-4 weeks with a lower body injury. This comes as a huge loss for the Colorado Avalanche who are relying on Francouz to be the backup goalie for Darcy Kuemper. He was scheduled to play all of the preseason game before he got injured, and then Jonas Johansson filled in after Francouz was taken out of the game.

It didn’t go well for the Avalanche after Johansson was put in, letting in four goals on his first ten shots. If this is a preview of what he has to offer, it’s all the more important that Francouz and Kuemper are healthy and able to play. However, Head Coach Jared Bednar didn’t seem worried about Johansson’s performance.

“Tough situation. I know he wasn’t expecting to go in,” Bednar said of Johansson. “Frankie was supposed to play the whole night. (Johansson) worked hard this morning on the ice with the practice group. Probably not mentally prepared as much as he could be as a backup goalie. We gave up way too many chances tonight, too, so it wasn’t easy for him.”

What does this mean going forward for the Colorado Avalanche?

The Avalanche play one more game in the preseason against the Stars, and then the season starts. With Francouz out, there will be more pressure on Kuemper and Johansson until he returns. Kuemper seems to be able to hold his own and might be able to play the games without really needing Johansson. If this is possible, the team might not have that much of a problem. The good news is that this injury did not have anything to do with Francouz’s double hip injury from the bubble that required him to be out for the 2020-2021 season. This is good news because it means that there wasn’t another injury in the same place, but bad news because injuries are never good for goalies.

The big thing the Avalanche will need to focus on will be to not rely on goaltending so much and not give up chances in their zone. If they can bring the defense and not create turnovers so much, they’ll have an easier time.