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Avs goalie coach wants to help Varlamov start fresh

Jul 30, 2013, 9:03 AM EDT

Semyon Varlamov AP

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov has plenty of potential, but he hasn’t lived up to expectations in his first two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche. The good news is that he’s only 25 years old, so he can still rebound and have a long and successful career.

Enter Francois Allaire, the Avalanche’s newly hired goaltending coach who played a big role in the development of Patrick Roy and Jean-Sebastien Giguere and if Varlamov doubts that, he can listen to their testimonials.

“My career was going nowhere,” Giguere said, according to the Denver Post. “I immediately felt more confident. I revived my career with him.”

“I was very lucky that I met him. I have no doubt in my mind that he was a huge help in my career,” Roy said.

Of course, Roy is now the Avalanche’s head coach and the man who reached out to Allaire shortly after he got the gig. Giguere is in the twilight of his career and has been a solid backup for Colorado. Between the three of them, Varlamov has a wealth of knowledge to lean on, but it’s Allaire that’s expected to lead the charge to give Varlamov the “fresh start” he desires.

“I want him to be comfortable. That’s the main thing,” Allaire said. “After that, I want him to understand I’m not coming from a different planet. It’s the same stuff. We don’t want him to change everything. I’ve met with him a few times already.

“One of my trademarks is I try to make sure guys are feeling good and keep it simple, create good routine, make sure the guy is happy coming to the rink. Then after that, look at the tape and then find their best strength and build around it. I’m not there yet with Varly, but I expect that to come.”

  1. pxland - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    I don’t understand how the team didn’t think it was a good idea to have a goalie coach before now.

    • jernster21 - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      Kirk McLean was the goalie coach/consultant for years until the end of this past season.

  2. shoobiedoobin - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Allaire sucks. His coaching encourages goalies to forget about reflexes and reaction and instead teaches them to focus on playing like a shooter tutor-get in the butterfly and hope it hits you. In other words, everything that’s wrong with goaltending today. We’re now drafting 6’7″ behemoths and making them just get in position when there’s someone 6’1″ with better reaction and natural skills getting overlooked.

    He’s credited with transforming Giguere but Giguere still played his own style in 2003, anyone with eyes and knowledge of Allaire’s style should know that.It’s in the coming years when Giguere truly embraced Allaire’s teachings did he become a complete joke. He had the mobility of a glacier and with his padding he couldn’t (and wouldn’t) even move his arms or legs. Giguere literally, to this day, just sits in the butterfly no matter what. Puck behind him? Butterfly. Cross crease? Butterfly. Breakaway? Butterfly.

    What’s he done after that? Absolutely nothing. Because his style doesn’t make a goalie good, it relies upon the defense to clear out rebounds, protect cross creases, passes, etc. It is completely up to the defense to see to it the goalie never has to move or extend his arms or legs. Anaheim could, hence Giguere’s temporary, overhyped success. Toronto couldn’t since they suck on defense, hence the abysmal failure by Allaire to shoe-horn his gimped system. And don’t even credit him with Roy, that’d be laughable.

  3. tru2joelu4eva - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    let’s go schwagalanche!

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