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Patrick Roy helps Varlamov change style

Sep 13, 2013, 9:01 AM EDT

Goalie Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche defends the goal against the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center on March 8, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Blackhawks 6-2 to end the Chicago's 30 game undefeated streak.
(March 7, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Patrick Roy has a lot of work ahead of him as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, but one of his bigger tasks will be attempting to turn around the career of goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

The Colorado Avalanche sacrificed a first round pick (used on Filip Forsberg) and second rounder (Mike Winther) to get Varlamov in 2011 and so far the return has been mediocre at best. Still, Varlamov is only 25 years old and he’s just been given a Hall of Fame goaltender to study under.

Roy brought in his old goaltending coach, Francois Allaire, to help and the duo has begun the process of modifying Varlamov’s approach to the game, according to the Denver Post. For example, they want Varlamov to keep his glove hand significantly higher so that shooters see less open net.

“That’s the first big change for him,” Roy said. “And you know what? He’s extremely receptive.”

Varlamov is scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. How he does in 2013-14 could determine the Avalanche’s willingness to commit to him being their long-term starter.

Related:

Roy: ‘I don’t want to necessarily be the head coach’ in Colorado

  1. ntvd7 - Sep 13, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    I’m interested in how this is going to develop…

    You can see the talent there, it’s just a matter of tweaking it

  2. rainyday56 - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Allaire’s “shooter tutor” goaltending strategy only works if you have studs like Pronger AND Neidermeyer in front of the goalie. Just watch, with the meat balls the Avs have behind the blueline, opposing forwards will have plenty of time to make Varly over commit and pop ‘em over his shoulder, or around the uncovered side.

    • jernster21 - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      What the article doesn’t talk about is how the Avs first day of training camp was mostly spent working defensive zone coverage, particularly behind the net, at the point, and in the slot. If they can get better in the slot and around the net they will help their goalies not look so bad because I don’t think their numbers are indicative of the talent/potential in net. Not to say Varly doesn’t need some work, he does, but he’s not the only project here.

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