Avalanche Briefs PICKARD A POS­I­TIVE IN A NEG­A­TIVE SEA­SON

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

ed­mon­ton, al­berta» When you’ve had the type of dis­as­trous sea­son the Avalanche has en­dured, you have no choice but to look at any pos­i­tives you can find.

One of those pos­i­tives is 24-year-old goal­tender Calvin Pickard. The 2010 sec­on­dround draft pick of the Avs is fi­nally get­ting his chance to be a No. 1 goal­tender.

Sure, his op­por­tu­nity came with the sea­so­nend­ing groin in­jury to Se­myon Var­lamov. But in a lost sea­son, the Avalanche can see what it has in Pickard — and he’s prov­ing to be a steady pres­ence in the crease.

“This is the most games he’s ever played. He will dou­ble his to­tals from pre­vi­ous years. He’s still a young guy, but he’s get­ting this op­por­tu­nity and it’s only go­ing to help him mov­ing for­ward,” said Avs coach Jared Bed­nar.

Pickard made his 43rd ap­pear­ance be­tween the pipes Satur­day when the Avs wrapped up a home-and-home se­ries with the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers at Rogers Place. He en­tered with a 13-25-2 record and a .909 save per­cent­age and two shutouts.

“It’s been a tough sea­son for us. We’re dead last, but it’s been a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for me, and I wouldn’t trade this op­por­tu­nity for any­thing. I’ve had a lot of good games, and gone through some rough patches, but I know these are all things that will help me go­ing for­ward,” said Pickard.

It wasn’t the big­gest trade on NHL trade dead­line day, but the ac­qui­si­tion of Swiss for­ward Sven Adrighetto from the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens has paid off nicely for Colorado.

Af­ter bounc­ing back and forth be­tween the Habs and the Amer­i­can Hockey League, the 24-year-old is mak­ing the most of his op­por­tu­nity. In 10 games, An­drighetto has scored two goals and six points, showing chem­istry with Nathan MacKin­non and Mikko Ran­ta­nen.

“I’m get­ting the op­por­tu­nity to play. I’ve been play­ing on the top two lines. I’ve been get­ting power-play op­por­tu­ni­ties. I’m play­ing more than 15 min­utes a night. It’s a nice change,” said An­drighetto.

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