Avs add goaltending depth as Central race heats up

Avs add goaltending depth as Central race heats up
March 5, 2014, 3:15 pm
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Nina Falcone

Patrick Kane will likely be seeing a lot more of his former teammate as the Colorado Avalanche acquired goaltender Reto Berra during the final minutes leading to the NHL Trade Deadline. 

Berra, who spent three seasons in net for Switzerland's Biel-Bienne — the same team Kane played for during the 2012-13 lockout — kicked off his NHL career with the Calgary Flames this campaign. Now he'll join the Avalanche as Patrick Roy and his team continue to push through the Central Division race.

[MORE: Blackhawk fall to Avs in return to United Center]

After last night's 4-2 win over the Blackhawks, the Avs stand just one point behind the defending champions in the Division race; a drastic change since last year's dismal 39-point season. By acquiring Berra, the Avs add some depth to their goaltending behind starter Semyon Varlamov, who's been stellar for Colorado all season. 

"It is not necessarily a surprise to me, but it is to the NHL," Roy told reporters when asked about Colorado's successful season on Tuesday night. "If you're looking at everybody that was making predictions at the beginning of the year, I would say probably 80 percent, if it's not 90 percent of people, would say the Avalanche will miss the playoffs. It's not something done yet, but we're certainly in good shape right now.

"We're competing right now to maybe surprise the world of hockey and might have the home-ice advantage."

[RELATED: Blackhawks feeling the pressure as postseason nears]

A number of Blackhawks said they've kept a close eye on the deals throughout the league over the last few days, but their top concern is solely on themselves and how they'll fare throughout the remainder of the regular season. The Blues made a blockbuster deal by acquiring Steve Ott and Ryan Miller. The Wild also added to their goaltending depth with Ilya Bryzgalov.

But general manager Stan Bowman and the rest of the Blackhawks are confident in the pieces they have moving forward. On Thursday their slightly-adjusted roster will look to bounce back from their loss to Colorado when they host the Blue Jackets.