As the Colorado Avalanche continue to watch frustration build in their locker room, a goaltending prospect was recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL to back up Jean-Sebastien Giguere while Semyon Varlamov deals with a hip injury. Giguere is facing some backlash after some comments he made concerning the team’s lack of effort right now, and their seeming focus on offseason plans rather than finishing out the season with some pride intact.
The Avalanche recalled Sami Aittokallio from the Monsters on Monday, and there is some chance he may see his first taste of NHL action. The Avalanche play back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday, and there likely won’t ever be a chance for the young netminder to make a debut with less pressure. The Avalanche selected Aittokallio in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and he played in Finland before heading to the AHL this season. In 26 games for the Monsters, he is 14-11-1 with a save percentage of .903 and a 2.89 goals-against average.
The Avalanche recalled Calvin Pickard, their other AHL goalie prospect, earlier this season but he did not see any game action. Pickard has slightly better statistics this season, but Aittokallio was the choice this time around. Varlamov is listed as day-to-day with a hip injury, and will not be traveling with the team to California for their next two games. One of the things Giguere brought up in his remarks after Monday’s loss to the Calgary Flames was that there are still players fighting for roster spots and trying to show they belong in the league, and with nothing left to lose this season the Avalanche would be well served to let Aittokallio have his shot.