Wow, just wow, Adam Werner.
The 22-year-old Avalanche goalie, a virtual unknown, on Tuesday showed he just may have a future in the NHL.
Talk about a smashing debut.
Pressed into action 31 seconds into the first period when Pavel Francouz
left with what is being called a head injury, Werner stopped all 40 shots he faced in a 4-0 win in Winnipeg to kick off a five-game road trip.
“I’m really happy for the kid,” coach Jared Bednar
told reporters. “He’s been up here working, excited to be here and he gets thrown into the game early and then to have the performance he had.”
Werner was summoned from the Colorado Eagles last Thursday when No. 1 goalie Philipp Grubauer
went on the shelf with a lower-body injury.
“You need to have a dream, and a big dream out there, and work for it and be prepared if something happened,” said Werner, the Avalanche’s fifth-round pick (No. 131) in the 2016 NHL draft.
Francouz, who was making his third consecutive start, was lying on his back near the dislodged net after being driven to the ice by Jets forward Mark Scheifele, who had skated hard to the net with defenseman Samuel Girard
draped on him.
Scheifele was assessed a goalie interference penalty and Werner entered the game after Francouz was helped to the locker room by trainer Matt Sokolowski
Werner, a 6-foot-5, 205-pounder from Mariestad, Sweden, made one big save after another, and he received more than enough offensive support from Nathan MacKinnon
(two goals, two assists), Joonas Donskoi
(one goal, two assists) and Cale Makar
(a goal to stretch his point streak to four games).
“Their guy made a bunch of good saves,” Jets coach Paul Maurice
said. “We had a bunch of good chances that didn’t go for us.”
Needing an emergency backup, former University of Manitoba goalie Byron Spriggs
put on an Avalanche uniform and equipment. Wearing No. 60, he watched from the end of the tunnel leading to the Colorado locker room.
The Avalanche have recalled goalie Antoine Bibeau
from the AHL Eagles, and he’ll join the team in Edmonton for Thursday’s game. Bibeau, 25, was acquired Sept. 27 from the San Jose Sharks for Nicolas Meloche
. Bibeau played two games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016-17.
Grubauer practiced Wednesday, but he may not be ready to play.
The Avalanche had called up defenseman Kevin Connauton
and forward Logan O'Connor,
but O’Connor was reassigned to the Eagles to make room for Bibeau.