Surprise call-ups are often not the good kind of surprise for the team and its fans. Such is the case with the Colorado Avalanche, who earlier announced that they had recalled goaltender Andrew Hammond from the Belleville Senators of the AHL. With, presumably, two healthy goalies, there would be no need for Hammond. Thus, the move was a cause for concern among Avs supporters.
Now, it seems that their worries were warranted. AJ Haefele of BSN Denver reports that Hammond’s recall comes as Jonathan Bernier has suffered a head injury and has entered the league’s concussion protocol. Bernier got the start for Colorado last night against the Winnipeg Jets, but was forced from the game after the second period after a collision with Nic Petan. Signed to a one-year deal to be Colorado’s backup in 2017-18, Bernier has instead forced a time share with Semyon Varlamov and has actually narrowly outplayed the Avs’ “starter”. Bernier’s loss, for however long he is out, will be felt by the Avalanche, as they look to stay relevant in the tight Western Conference playoff race.
Fortunately, the timing could not be better for Colorado to use Hammond, if they even need to. The Avs play their next six games against just three teams: the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and Calgary Flames. The Canucks and Oilers are two of the worst teams in the Western Conference and both struggle to score goals, while the Flames – admittedly a fringe playoff squad like the Avs – also have their offensive struggles.