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The Time is Now

David Aebischer has spent the past three seasons with the Colorado Avalanche learning from a goaltending legend. Now he faces the challenge of replacing that legend, as surefire Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy, announced his retirement this past June.

"I'm just going to have to be myself," Aebischer said. "I can't compare myself to Patrick. I'm just going to play my game, give all I have and see at the end of the day what I accomplished." Aebischer, was Colorado's seventh choice in the 1997 draft. He has gone 32-25-3 with six shutouts and a 2.18 goals-against average in 69 NHL games.

Philippe Sauve recorded 26 wins with a 2.37 GAA, and a 0.917 SP% last year with the Hershey Bears. Sauve has been touted as Coloradoís future goalie rather than Aebischer. He has been kept in the minor league system so he could keep his game fresh, instead of playing on the Avalanche and backing up starter Patrick Roy.

Both of these goalies have great futures ahead of them but are they ready to play right now? Although Aebischerís stats are quite respectable you must remember that most of his games played have came against sub-standard teams. Sauve has had great stats also but his numbers are AHL stats, and he probably isnít ready for NHL game time just yet.

Expect Colorado to start the year with Aebischer in net, and if he stutters coach Tony Granato will not hesitate to try out Sauve in net for the team. If neither David Aebischer or Phil Sauve show that they can be a true NHL #1 goaltender, look for Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix to make a move to get an experienced goaltender. With 3 great goaltending prospects Colorados net situation will in fact be great, but with the signings of superstars Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne both to 1 year contracts, Peter Forsberg most likely returning to Sweden and many other players contracts running out, Colorados time is now, not later.