Avalanche Pregame: Prosvetov With A Great Opportunity

Colorado Hockey Now

Erik Johnson‘s return to Denver has almost overshadowed that this is a very important game for the Colorado Avalanche.

A loss, and the team will have let an extended homestand go to waste with a record under .500. A win, and you feel a little bit better about where this team is at. So yes, tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres is important.

And the Avalanche won’t be turning to their starting goaltender to help them win it.

Ivan Prosvetov, not Alexandar Georgiev, will be in net on Wednesday night for Colorado.

Why? Because he earned it.

“Came in the other night and played great,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “I thought he gave us a really good chance to come back in that hockey game, so we just thought we’ll go with him again.”

That makes it two of the last three games that Prosvetov has started. With a back-to-back coming up this weekend, there’s a good chance he’ll play again before the week is up. Prosvetov might have a real chance to go on a little bit of a run with some strong play.

Does that mean the team thinks Georgiev is stuck in a rut right now?

“I don’t know about a rut,” Bednar said. “We set our schedule. Obviously, we got a lot of games. Prosy was scheduled to play this week, but you also got to be flexible. Again, last game, does a great job, and if he can continue to do that, might as well go back to him.”

The guys in front of him are also impressed with what they’ve seen from the 24 year old Russian netminder.

“He’s been playing awesome since he’s gotten here,” Bowen Byram told me. “I don’t know how many games he’s played, but he’s always kept us in it. Made big saves when he has to, so it’s been a great pickup.”

I’m sure you’ve all seen an interview with Prosvetov by now. He’s a character. Whether it’s cracking jokes about playing Xbox after practice, or talking about how he snacks in between periods, he’s been a fun guy to talk to.

“Awesome guy,” Byram said. “Very lively. Loves to chat and have fun.”

If he plays well and earns more starts, we’ll be chatting with him a lot more often.

Other Lineup Notes

  • Josh Manson missed morning skate again, and his status for the game against the Sabres is still unknown. “We’ll see what he feels like tonight,” Bednar said.
  • Joel Kiviranta is back at practice, but may not get back into the lineup just yet. Based off the fact that he stayed out late after morning skate, I’d say he’s likely to be scratched again, but Bednar wouldn’t go that far. He missed time due to illness, and that’s been running through the team lately.
    • “I like the lineup that we had last game, but he’s back and feeling better now. That sickness wasn’t just from the other night. As you guys know, we’ve had a number of guys go through it, miss time. Whether it’s practices, pregames skates, whether they were able to play or not. It’s kind of been going through and hopefully we’re now getting through it, and Kivi is kind of the latest one. The other night I didn’t play him because energy is important. Whether you’re playing eight or 28 minutes a night, I think you got to try and be at your best, especially when we have other capable players around.”
  • This is one of those weird games that is on TNT, but it’s not exclusive. Altitude is also broadcasting the game, so TNT will likely be blacked out for everyone in Colorado. It sucks, I know, and unfortunately Avalanche fans have gotten used to it. My understanding is that you might not be blacked out if you stream the game on Max, but I can’t guarantee that. The blackout rules in the NHL are a mess.
  • It will also be a late start. Puck drop is 8:22 PM MST. Double whammy.
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