The Colorado Avalanche continue to heal their war wounds as they wait to enter the Stanley Cup Finals, but head coach Jared Bednar will have to answer a fundamental question soon enough, as goaltender Darcy Kuemper looks ready to make a back to the game.
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According to NHL.com this week, Kuemper is in full health after missing a few games with an upper body problem. He fell in the second period of Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Edmonton Oilers and teammate Pavel Francouz took over. The “Avs” did not experience too much trouble despite everything and swept their rivals to advance to the final round.
Who will now be the starter in the Finals, either against the Tampa Bay Lightning or the New York Rangers?
"It's a tough decision. There will be discussions about this. We'll decide and go from there, Bednar said. They are still evaluated, of course. The work is completed. Now it's all about rest and preparation. I will use their work to choose my goalkeeper, it's as simple as that.
Everything is under control
With a 6-2 record, a 2.65 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage, Kuemper says he is in excellent shape. And he is very eager to get back into action, especially since the stakes will be high.
“I see the puck very well, everything is back to 100%, he mentioned to the league website. It's never fun to watch from the sidelines, especially in big games. However, Frankie showed up and did a great job. It's been good to see the guys take control of the series and pick up some wins."
"It's still hard to stay away and attend the games. You want to contribute, but when things are going well and the team is winning, you feel more comfortable. You don't regret letting people down," he continued.
For his part, Francouz has signed six wins in as many decisions during the 2022 playoffs. His average is 2.86 and his rate is .906. Colorado will attempt to lift the cup for the first time since 2001.