The goaltending situation for the Colorado Avalanche appeared to have gone from bad to worse.
Then, everything worked itself out.
With starting netminder Philipp Grubauer slowly recovering from a lower-body injury that kept him out of the Avalanche’s last two games before Tuesday’s meeting with the Jets, Pavel Francouz got the nod in Winnipeg.
Just 31 seconds into the opening frame, he was run over by Mark Scheifele following the Winnipeg star’s battle with Colorado defender Samuel Girard at Bell MTS Place.
Francouz left the game after appearing to hit his head on the post and was replaced by 22-year-old Adam Werner, who posted a 5-4-0 record, 2.88 GAA and .908 SV% in nine games with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles this season.
Scheifele, meanwhile, received a minor penalty for goaltender interference.
The first game of Werner’s NHL career went pretty well, though. Werner made 40 saves to lead Colorado to a 4-0 victory. However, since the young Swede didn’t play the full 60 minutes, he wasn’t awarded a shutout for his efforts.
Werner was probably the last one to care, though.
He received an ovation from his Avalanche teammates when he entered the dressing room and got a game puck from Nathan MacKinnon.
“Great karma and great positioning,” Werner said when asked about his strategy between the pipes, according to Darrin Bauming of NHL.com.
Although he didn’t have too much to say about his night, the Jets certainly did.
"You've got to give him credit,” Winnipeg’s captain Blake Wheeler said about Werner after the game, according to Murat Ates of The Athletic. “He did a good job and the puck was finding him."
The extent of Francouz’s injury is unknown at this time.
Grubauer’s status is also unclear at this time. He was on the ice for the team’s practice on Monday, but it has yet to be announced if he will be ready for Thursday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
If both Grubauer and Francouz are unable to play, consider making the middle of your fantasy week a little more interesting by picking up Werner for a start. Shockingly, as of Tuesday night, he’s only owned in 1% of Yahoo Fantasy leagues.
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