A quick look at the record of the Colorado Avalanche and the fact that goaltender Semyon Varlamov has been the man in net for all but one of their games would lead to the conclusion that he isn’t playing very well. Looking deeper, it’s hard to support that argument, as the team has never scored more than two goals in any of the games they have lost with Varlamov in net.
While the Russian netminder has an unimpressive 3-6 record, he also has a very respectable goals against average of 2.00. In fact, the Avalanche are 13th in the league in goals against, which isn’t that bad at all. What is bad is their average of just over two goals scored per game, 25th in the league. Varlamov’s three wins have seen the team score three, four and three goals while limiting their oppponents’ chances. Wednesday night saw Colorado get shut out by the Anaheim Ducks, the latest disappointing loss with Varlamov in net this season. Injuries have played a big part in the lack of scoring for the Avalanche this season, but the team needs to find a way to support their goalie even with Gabriel Landeskog, Steve Downie and Ryan O’Reilly not in the lineup.
The defense, for the most part, has been doing their job too. The Avs have only allowed one power play goal in their past four games, a big improvement on one of their weakest areas early in the season. Their power play, however, has done pretty much nothing all season. Despite 33 chances, Colorado only has three goals with the man-advantage.
This was already slated to be a rebuilding year of sorts for a young Colorado team, and the rash of injuries hasn’t helped things. If the team wants to be competitive moving forward, they need to find a way to score goals, and hope Varlamov is up to the task to do the rest. In games that have seen the Avalanche score three goals or more, they are undefeated, so the easy solution to get more wins would seem to be just score more goals.