Heading into an elimination game against the Nashville Predators without star goaltenders Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier due to injuries, Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar called upon Andrew Hammond on Friday, and to say it was the right call is an understatement. The newfound hero in Colorado stopped 44 of 45 shots in Colorado's 2-1 win, forcing the series to a Game 6 back in Denver on Sunday.
So now, every one in Denver or who is an Avalanche fan is now in love with Hammond, cheering him on and looking to see him again on Sunday in between the pipes. All great you think?
Wrong. Hammond's wife, Marlee Hammond, is not enjoying what is happening to her husband. During the last night's game, the Avalanche kept posting videos and messages of encouragement and support for Hammond, and Marlee had enough.
At one point during the contest, Marlee replied back to one tweet posted by Colorado saying: "all of a sudden you guys are big fans" with a frowned face.
The 30-year-old Hammond was acquired as part of a three-team trade that saw Matt Duchene sent to the Senators and also involved Nashville's Kyle Turris. Hammond had started just three contests in 2018 prior to Game 5, two of which came in the AHL. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Hammond had made only five NHL starts, and his lone appearance with the Avalanche this season had resulted in a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Bernier stepped into the starting role for the postseason after Varlamov was sidelined by a knee injury at the end of March. Varlamov led the Avalanche with 24 wins this season.
Avalanche fans will not forget about Hammond anytime soon. He became just the fourth goaltender in NHL history to win an elimination game after making no more than one appearance during the regular season, joining Earl Robertson (1937), Bert Gardiner (1939), and Ed Belfour (1990), according to the NHL.
"You never know when you’re going to get a second chance," Hammond said after the game, per Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press. "I’ve played two games basically since the start of January - at times it felt as though that day would never come again when you’re going to play again. You keep battling in practice, you stick to the process, when you get your chance, you’re ready."
It looks like Hammond will start Game 6 tomorrow, so let's hope Marlee is ready for more love towards her husband.