Francoou faced the challenge of the Avalanche network

DENVERA – From the beginning to the end of the game, the supporters gathered at the Ball Arena chanted Paul Frankus.


Francou certainly showed them his love for 12 seconds when he cheered them on with a glove and a shield.

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The Colorado Avalanche reserve goalkeeper was tasked with competing Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitls and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers’ dangerous attack on Thursday in the 2nd game of the Western Conference finals Darsiy Kumper could not play due to upper body injury.

Francouz responded with 24 rebounds, and his teammates showed one of their best performances in the playoffs, winning 4-0. Now they are in the lead in the series with 2-0.

“It’s hard to describe,” the director said. It was a very special evening. I enjoyed the teamwork. I liked it better when the crowd rejoiced over the whole team than when they chanted my name, to be honest. »

McDavid leads the playoffs with 29 points (eight goals, 21 assists) but one point less (seven goals, 21 assists). Both ended a series of nine game points. You must return to the first round of Game 4 to find the leaderboard without the names of McDavid and Draysitl, losing 4-0 against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Avalanche stood guard, and when it was needed, Frankouz was perfect.

“He was calm and confident all night,” said Jared Bednar, Avalanche’s head coach. “I found that he really opposed the shooters, but without exaggeration. He was in the right place, and most of his repulsions seemed easy to do.”

Francouz took over Kemper in the second period of Game 1 and conceded three goals in 21 innings. Avalanche won 8: 6 in one of the most offensive games in NHL playoff history.

He planned to start Game 2 and received confirmation Wednesday afternoon. It would only be his 10th playoff game of his career, the seventh start. He played in the first two rounds against Nashville Predators, starting in Game 4.

“I was definitely a little nervous and you always keep in mind that this is a really important game,” he said. But it helped me how our team played tonight from the first seconds. It helped me a lot, calmed me down and allowed me to focus on my game. “

Francouz was close to making a big mistake in the first period when he broke out of his net, played the puck and sent it back overboard. Oilers protector Cody This Frankouz intercepted it and sent it away from the neutral zone, which Frankouz had to stop at the right circle.

But Francis has regained control. At the end of his first engagement, he harpooned Draysitla, who reported to his cage. At the start of the second game, he broke out of his net to cut the angle of the Oilers’ defender Evans Bush.

However, he booked his most important game at the end of the second period, when Colorado was in the lead with 3-0. Oilers protector Darnell’s nurse went 2 against 1 with McDavid. Jack Johnson tried to cover McDavid, leaving Nurse Frankouz, who successfully sent a defender to destroy the “Oilers” goal opportunity.

“It was a great moment,” Bednar said. He knows everything it meant to be in such a series. As I said before, he has worked hard to stay in shape. He always does. He always did a good job when called after a long respite, which is not easy to do. »

When Colorado took the lead with 7: 3 in Game 1, Edmonton reduced the score to 7: 6. Avalanche made the same mistake on Thursday. In the third place, he raised the guests with 14: 5, and also hit in the force.

“This time we didn’t stop playing in the third,” the striker said Miko Rantanens. “We kept pushing, using forks and keeping the puck in the attack zone. That was the big difference. »

A member of his team Nazem Kadri the performance was called excellent.

“Tonight, our attention to detail and level of focus was exactly where they needed to be,” he said. We wanted to take it to the next level. In the last game, we realized that this performance would not be enough for the whole series.

“It’s a team with a big attack. I think we did a great job of defending. Frankie did some great shots. All in all, there was an exclusion, and I’m really proud of the guys.”

It is unclear who will start Game 3 on Saturday in Edmonton, Rogers Place (20:00 ET; TNT, CBC, SN, TVAS). Bednar said Camper’s condition was reassessed every day and he declined to provide further details.

But Francis showed what he could do, and the Avalanche showed that if they played the way they knew, that goalkeeper wouldn’t matter.

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."