Skip to content

Semyon Varlamov carries breakout season into playoffs

Apr 20, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT

Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Two Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon has stolen the show in Denver with seven points in two playoff games, but goaltender Semyon Varlamov‘s role in the Avalanche taking a 2-0 series lead can’t be overlooked.

The Avalanche goalie turned aside 30 of 32 shots in Colorado’s 4-2 victory last night.

“Tonight, he was rock solid,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy told the Denver Post. “He made some key saves at the right time, and that’s the type of performance I thought he was going to offer. I’m having so much confidence in him. He’s been our best player all year.”

Colorado took a big chance when they surrendered a first round pick (Filip Forsberg) and Boston’s second round selection (Mike Winther) in the 2012 Entry Draft to acquire Varlamov. For a while that looked like a questionable decision, but Roy and goalie coach Francois Allaire have helped the 25-year-old goalie live up to his potential.

Varlamov had a 2.41 GAA and .927 save percentage in 63 games in the regular season and led the league in saves. His breakout performance was one of the main reason the Avalanche went from being one of the worst teams in the league to one of the best and how far they get in the playoffs will largely depend on his play.

Related:

Yeo’s scouting report on Varlamov reveals: ‘This is a great goalie’

  1. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Speaking of breakout, did that gal ever escape from the cage in varlamov’s basement?

    • spoon9z - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      nothing but class

      really? that’s all you’ve got?

      sad

      scoreboard as they say (2 game to 0)

      state of hockey my arse, seems like the state of excuses and garbage talk

      • zacmelvinmcnutt - Apr 20, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        Where the Wild Things AREN’T!!!!

  2. markelavs123 - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    She actually did and went to Bryzgalov’s house but she ran away because his 5-hole was too big

  3. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    You want to try that again? Some how it has to be about HER 5-hole or the joke just doesn’t work.

  4. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Happy four-twenteaster to everyone in CO, the land of Nuggets.
    Don’t let your chronic case of the munchies make you think eating all the candy in your Easter basket in one sitting is a good idea. Tummy ache!
    Also, that shiny green grass in the basket is not for smoking!

    • cobirdsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      SO. CLEVER.

  5. colby7 - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Colorado to the Western Conference Finals. After STL and CHI are done mangling each other, what is left won’t be able to stop the Avs.

  6. spoon9z - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Better in game 2, but still showing his jittery tendencies of the past by overplaying everything and relying on reaction/athleticism versus it being a supplement to great form and positioning that led him to the results of this fine year.

    Hope he continues to get better over the playoffs…and if so, this could be a long playoff drive and potential Cup reunion for Colorado. Yet he can’t fall back on bad habits or the Avs will be in trouble fast with the system they play.

    • mackattack29 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      I don’t think Allaire or Roy will let him fall back into any bad habits tbh. It definitely seems like that first game was just nerves and now varly is in the same game saving mode that he was in all year long. But then again its only been 2 games. It truly is exciting to think about if varly is on his game, and we continue to score enough, There is a real chance of us going all the way if varly can play to the best of his abilities.

      • spoon9z - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Kuemper scares me a lot more than Bryz does though, so they have that and home ice going for them now too.

  7. hardkor07mn - Apr 20, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Varlomov is the ONLY reason you are up 2-0. There is no way in your burned out minds that you think the Avs should have won game 1.

    • smangold4 - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      Uhhh….Have you not seen Nathan Mackinnon?

    • spoon9z - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      And Lando, Staz, ROR, EJ, Barrie, Talbot…

      the only thing the Wild have going for THEM is the hopes of Kuemper and home ice. seriously, the only other regular player contributing well and in solid form is Coyle and arguably Suter with his super minutes. This isn’t even to disparage the Wild either, I love Koivu normally and respect the heck out of Parise from the past as well, but they aren’t playing great mostly bc Roy has forced them to play his/the Avalanche’s game and were tasked with trying to stop the Avalanche’s top line. Can’t wait until Duchene gets back and gives you another line to worry dreadfully about, yet ROR and Ginner have shut the opposition down and played some amazingly solid hockey in a different role with little glory. They don’t care as long as the other line can carry play they’ll continue happily like this until the 16th playoff win this year. Man that would be sweet.

      And enough of the burn out jokes. For one, I’m in the NYC metro area (North NJ). Second, you never smoked?

  8. robertb655 - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    We won game 1 cuz you guyz (all of you) came up short!

  9. robertb655 - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Don’t even make me mention game 2!!

    • spoon9z - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      that’s pretty funny

  10. dolphincult - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    I think the Wild were better than advertised in game 1. The Avs have been much more potent than I expected without the Douche but the defending in their own end is very aggressive considering the lineup they ice. Varlomov has been excellent but I thought Keumper gave the Wild a spark with big saves. Lets see how the Avs hold up now that the Wild get last line change on home ice…..

    • spoon9z - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      It may help the wild mildly, but I doubt they couldn’t get the matchups out there most times when needed despite the lack of last change. Every single person they put on Nate thus far had a horrible time of it, and I wonder why? You press him he jumps a lane. You back off, he drives you to the net and either breaks your ankles with a sudden outside move, or drops it back to a wide open Lando or Staz in the lane. They haven’t even utilized their d men just yet, and it’s quite a normal thing usually…yet why complicate things when the first few options have been there. Double team him you say or put Sutter on him alone? Well, we all know too well he’s a STELLAR passer (how many assists in two games?) after opening up lanes and angles with his speed. So I’d say live by fire all you want, pretty much everything burns with this kid.

      • dolphincult - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        Agreed the kid has been lights out so far

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1767)
  2. D. Roy (1534)
  3. M. Ribeiro (1384)
  4. D. Cleary (1383)
  5. R. Nash (1366)
  1. V. Sobotka (1301)
  2. B. Dubinsky (1253)
  3. B. Morrow (1250)
  4. L. Stempniak (1122)
  5. P. Subban (1097)