Colorado Avalanche send Calvin Pickard back to Lake Erie – Good or Bad Move?


Dec 1, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard (31) in the first period against the Montreal Canadiens at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche announced Tuesday afternoon that they’ve sent goaltender Calvin Pickard back to Lake Erie with Semyon Varlamov (groin) coming off injured-reserve. The question will be moving forward whether or not it was a good move in the first place.

Pickard has been playing fairly well in the absence of Varlamov, supporting a record of 3-4-0 with a 2.49 goals against average – lowest on the team. It’s interesting nonetheless as Reto Berra has struggled mightily in his recent appearances.

Berra saw his hot start to the season diminish quickly. Over the past five games, Berra has given up 16 goals – 90-of-106 on save opportunities. During his last two starts, Berra let in three goals each in the first period, then being promptly removed from the game by head coach Patrick Roy.

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Either way you spin the dice, it makes sense for now and in the long-run. Pickard is only 22-years-old and still needs some polishing in his game. Sending him back down to Lake Erie will give him the chance to start as an everyday goaltender – something he won’t do with Semyon Varlamov back in-between the pipes.

If Varlamov is to go down again (fingers-crossed), Pickard would likely slide in as the teams starting goaltender. Patrick Roy noted that he hopes Pickard’s play served as a wake-up call to Berra. Let’s all hope that it is true and Berra can shake off the last two games.

The Avalanche resume action Thursday night where they take on the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck-drop is scheduled for 9:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM MST.