Dec 22, 2011, 3:54 PM EST
The Colorado Avalanche are one win away from posting their longest single-season home winning streak since moving to Denver in 1995.
And they’re going to try and get it with Jiggy in goal.
Yes, veteran netminder J.S. Giguere will get his fourth consecutive start tomorrow against Tampa. This is noteworthy for two reasons: One, Giguere’s been playing inspired hockey as of late (1.62 GAA, .949 save percentage over the last three wins) and two, he’s relegated Semyon Varlamov to backup status.
And that’s noteworthy, because Avs GM Greg Sherman paid a small bounty for 23-year-old Russian netminder. It cost a unprotected first round pick (and a second-rounder in 2012 or 2013) to get him, then a three-year, $8.5 million deal to lock him up long-term.
While Varlamov’s $2.8 million annual cap hit isn’t huge, it’s a $2 millon raise from what he was making in Washington. It’s also double what Colorado is paying Giguere annually ($1.25 million) — and based on recent comments by head coach Joe Sacco, the team could have a goaltending controversy on its hands.
“Right now, it’s not too much of decision because Giggy is playing so well,” Sacco told the Denver Post. “We’ve won games, we’re getting results.”
Sacco’s in a precarious spot. His team has rallied to get back to .500 (earlier this month they were 13-16-1) and within spitting distance of a playoff spot, so wins are at a premium. In that light, it makes sense to roll with Giguere — but that only further buries Varlamov, who’s supposed to be Colorado’s No. 1 guy.
- Video: Nyquist scores OT winner on incredible individual effort 1
- Video: Ovechkin crushes Letang, Capitals cruise by the Penguins 3
- Video: Prout, Lucic drop the gloves in highly anticipated scrap 50
- Video: NHL on NBC panel breaks down the coaching situation in New Jersey 2
- Lou Lamoriello unveils highly unorthodox coaching plan 37
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks, Kings renew hostilities 3
- NHL on NBCSN: Can Capitals take advantage of depleted Penguins? 2
- Team Canada crushes Slovakia 14
- Criticism spreads to GM Lou Lamoriello after Devils fire DeBoer 10
- Eichel earns assist and scores in shootout as U.S. squeaks by Finland 2
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (76)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Prout, Lucic drop the gloves in highly anticipated scrap (50)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)