Many are wondering if the Avalanche are going to make major changes to their goaltending this offseason. But I don’t see it. And you can credit that to how Alexandar Georgiev bounced back from a tough couple of weeks to stabilize the crease.

The reality is, the Avs have little cap space to maneuver with this offseason. They’ll have to sign Casey Mittelstadt to an extension and re-work their bottom defense pairing and fourth line. The team also hopes to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Jonathan Drouin. It’ll be a busy offseason ahead with all of that plus the uncertainty surrounding Valeri Nichushkin and Gabriel Landeskog.

But why should we trust Georgiev and backup Justus Annunen? Simply put, the duo are more than capable of leading a talent-heavy team like Colorado. With Annunen primed for a full season as an NHLer, and the growth he showed last year, it’s fair to assume he’ll start at least 25 games this season.

Between his development and Georgiev getting much-needed support to keep him away from the 60-plus games he’s been hovering around for two years, the duo will be fine.

Georgiev is under contract for one more year at a reasonable $3.4 million. And Annunen will make less than $1 million for the next two years.

If anything, general manager Chris MacFarland should dip into the free agency market for a veteran to play the role of the No. 3 goalie. Colorado recently signed young Trent Miner, who was solid in the American Hockey League last year. He’ll likely be the Colorado Eagles starter in 2024-25 but they’ll want to keep him there for another full year to help his development.

Signing a veteran goalie who can do what Martin Jones did for Toronto last year would give the Avs insurance both at the AHL level and in case one of Annunen or Georgiev struggles or suffers an injury.

2023-24 Rewind

Looking back at this past season, the Avalanche’s goaltending was more inconsistent than it has been for at least a half-decade.

Georgiev had quite the year. Coming off 40 wins and a .919 save percentage in 2022-23, the second-year Avs starter saw his numbers dip the following season. And it’s largely due to the lack of support he had through the first three months. The team had hoped to rely on backup Pavel Francouz to split duties with Georgiev, but he was unhealthy to start training camp and has since announced his retirement. The result was Georgiev again finishing among the top goalies in the league in starts.

But make no mistake, Georgiev is a battler. Following a nearly unbeatable run between February and the first half of March, Georgiev suddenly began to struggle. He was chased on numerous occasions by playoff-caliber teams. And was eventually tasked with rebounding from a terrible Game 1 against the Winnipeg Jets in the postseason where he surrendered seven goals on 23 shots.

He battled his way out of that performance and won four straight games against the higher-seeded Jets. He then battled through a tough series against Stars goalie Jake Oettinger. I’d argue he was Colorado’s best player in the second round.

When many (myself included) lost hope in Georgiev, he never once let his confidence waver. It’s hard to find a more confident goalie than Georgiev. And sometimes that’s not a bad thing. Especially when poor starts are magnified the way they were late in the regular season.

Georgiev finished the year 38-18-5 with a save percentage below the league average (.897).

Then there’s Annunen, the expected full-time backup in 2024-25. For the first time in three years, he showed clear signs of development toward becoming a stable NHL goalie. Annunen began to help out Georgiev after the All-Star break. He started nine games in the final two months of the regular season and won a game in relief in a 10th appearance.

The 24-year-old finished the season 8-4-1 with a solid .928 save percentage and two shutouts. He was rewarded with a two-year contract extension near the end of the regular season, solidifying his role as Georgiev’s backup.