Semyon Varlamov could use a break, and thanks to a fortunate gap in the schedule, the Colorado Avalanche netminder will get one. Varlamov has had a busy week but has won his last two starts and recorded his second shutout of the season against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. Despite getting minimal help from the defense in front of him, Varlamov is doing what he can between the pipes and he should get some relief now that Jean-Sebastien Giguere is back at full strength.
Varlamov made 50 saves in a Saturday loss to the Edmonton Oilers, then faced 38 shots Monday against the Nashville Predators. Thanks to some offensive spark in that game, Colorado held on to take a 6-5 win. The Blues threw 33 shots at Varlamov on Wednesday but were unable to beat the veteran goaltender. David Jones scored near the end of overtime to help the Avalanche get their second straight win. With a majority of their offensive talent sidelined due to injuries or contract issues, Varlamov deserves a ton of credit for any success the team has had this season. His 5-7-1 record may not look like much, but don’t forget he often faces upwards of 25 shots per game and gets little offensive support.
Giguere has only made two starts and three total appearances for the Avalanche this season, as Varlamov continues to be the team’s workhorse. Even though he’s facing a lot of shots, he continues to give maximum effort to keep this young, rebuilding team competitive in almost every game. Patrik Berglund of the Blues and Matt Duchene of the Avalanche both saw personal four-game goal scoring streaks come to an end on Wednesday.