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Semyon Varlamov finished last season on fire

Aug 5, 2012, 4:48 PM EST

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Every now and then, Semyon Varlamov showed why the Colorado Avalanche made such an expensive deal to acquire him.

Sure, the Russian netminder stumbled badly after a hot start, playing three mediocre months of hockey.

Yet the Varlamov people saw after the All-Star break reveals hints of something special.

Varly put up substandard numbers in the 30 games before that break, but he went 12-9-2 with an outstanding .932 save percentage and a 2.06 GAA in the 23 games afterward.

In a way, those numbers paint a picture of his career so far.

He’s been an up-and-down goalie since he stormed into the general hockey consciousness with some strong work in the 2009 playoffs.

His 53 games played in 2011-12 matches his combined regular season appearances from the previous two seasons with the Washington Capitals.

At 24, he’s just now entering his prime years, so there’s added reason for optimism.

Ultimately, if Varlamov wants to justify the heavy price Colorado paid for his rights in the 2011 offseason, he’ll need to be healthier and more consistent.

Despite having a strong backup in Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the Avalanche’s goaltending – and team, really – will go as far as Varlamov can take them.

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  1. lsxphotog - Aug 5, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I always felt he had a tremendous amount of potential. When he’s on his game, he sees the puck so well. I really liked him on the Caps and I still can’t believe they were so impatient with him.

  2. farvefromover - Aug 6, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Caps were not impatient. He had consistent groin issues and they had good young backup goalies. Colorado made a great trade offer, what did the Caps have to lose? Varly gets a starting gig, the Caps get 1st rounders and their young goalies had already proved they could play. I like Varly, all Caps fans do, but I feel as confident with Holtby or Neuvy as I did with Varly.

    • blakechandler - Aug 7, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      Shoot if the Av’s did not make that trade their future starting line could have been Landeskog and Forsberg…a nice Swedish duo. This trade definitely worked out for the Caps with Holtby, and Neuvirth between the pipes. Not to mention the picks, hopefully Varlamov’s injury and consistency troubles disappear and everyone wins.

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