Well, the best so far, anyway.

I’ve been critical of Semyon Varlamov in the past, and until this season, it’s been somewhat justified. He’s been fine enough, but by last year he was expected to be something more than “fine enough,” and he posted a 2.59 GAA and a .913 save percentage, which is just under league average.

BUT HO! Ho, ho, he’s off to a hell of a start this season.

He’s gotten into 12 games for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv (Vitaly Kolesnik has played 13, Curtis Sanford 8), and, well, here’s how he’s played:

Boo-yah. And hey, a Bobrovsky sighting too (16th).

He’s only been scored on 20 times after seeing over 400 shots. If you’re the Avs, you have to love how things are going for him, especially given that he’s only 24, and the prime of goalies tends to last a lot longer than that of your average skater. He’s first in goals-against-average, and first in save percentage, aided by the fact that he’s posted shutouts in a quarter of his games. Not bad.

When the NHL lockout ends next week, he’ll be back in the Avs’ awful sweaters (sorry), and ready to backstop one of the league’s youngest teams. In a severely shortened season, who knows – could he bump the Avs in to playoffs?

Comments (24)

  1. Wtf do you mean next week?

  2. What’s wrong with the Avs’ jerseys?! Probably one of the best logos in the league.

  3. Don’t worry, Avs fans hate the Uniprons (uniform + apron) too. Stupid piping. Bring back the old sweaters!

  4. Stana used to play for my-then hometown (and now defunct) Richmond Renegades when I was in high school. Probably haven’t heard his name or thought of him in almost 10 years. Can’t believe he is only 32 years old, feels like he should be 40 or something.

  5. He’s still not worth what the Avs paid to get him.

    • Devils Win,

      How much is a goalie with a 95.1% save percentage worth, then? In fact, assuming you’re a Devils fan, is a 1st and 3rd too much for a 24-year-old Brodeur?

      • Didn’t that first round pick become Filip Forsberg, who was widely considered one of the very best players available in the draft?

        I’ll eat my shoe Varlamov’s numbers ever translate over to the NHL from the KHL. He’s injury prone and streaky…and even though there are a few NHLers playing in the KHL right now, you realize that most of the players there are nowhere near as good as NHLers, right?

        I’m not saying that Varlamov isn’t good, but comparing him to one of the best goalies of all time is hardly warranted at this point. Varlamov couldn’t even win the starting position on that Caps against a bunch of other youngsters. That’s like me saying that the Leafs getting Jake Gardiner was totally worth is because he could be Mario Lemieux one day. Afterall, Gardiner has almost a point a game in an inferior league!

        An aging Giguere had better stats than Varlamov last season – by quite a lot. Time will tell if Varlamov pans out or if those picks become anything meaningful, but it was much more than the going rate for someone of Varlamov’s calibre.

      • Oh, and speaking of Devils goalies, Ari Ahonen, who couldn’t even make the NHL is 4th in the KHL. I see quite a few guys who didn’t make the NHL on the list of top goalies in the KHL.

        • Jeff Glass, come on down! When everyone and their brother were getting shots at being the Ottawa #1, Jeff Glass was given the opportunity to put an AHL team on his back, and make a playoff run. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

          • Exactly. The KHL’s best goalie list reads like a failed NHL prospect list.

    • Right….a first round pick who has developed into a starting NHL goalie isnt worth a first and second round pick in the draft…..

      If you ever become an NHL GM, call me.

      I will have a bunch of draft picks that ill be willing to trade for your experienced NHL-ready players.

      Then you can tell all your friends what a great deal you got?

      • The most games he’s ever played in a season is 53. His other years he played considerably less. He’s a marginal starter at best at this point in his career. He may or may not improve, but when you’re being outplayed by Giguere this late in his career, you’re not exactly lighting the world on fire.

        That first rounder became Filip Forsberg, who was expected to go in the top 4 in the draft. He has the upside to be a star NHLer…

  6. BOBROVSKY! Youre writing cheques your a$$ cant cash YOU’RE OFF THE CASE! Wrong station I know….

  7. Varly was one of the best goalies to don a Caps jersey, but he was/is too injury prone. Heck, even with his spectacular numbers this at the KHL, he’s out again with an injury…

  8. * this year at the KHL

  9. An in form goalie plus a tendency to be decent coming out of the gate, with a young team – shortened season may well benefit the Avs!

  10. Dear Devils Win,

    Varlamov was arguably the Avs best player in the second half of the season and better than Guigere. His critisim going in to the season and after the trade was that he was injury prone. He wasn’t injured last year in a season he played more games than he’s ever done in the pros. I do not agree that he deserves any kind of comparison with Brodeur, that’s just silly. However, do keep a few things in mind. First, the trade of a starting goalie who was himself a 1st round pick of the Caps is still up in the air. But, the Avs traded a 12th first round pick (it doesn’t matter who the Caps picked with it) for a starting goalie. They paid a premium of another 2nd round pick. Not an untold price for a developed, starting goalie. Varly is now 24 years old. To put that perspective development-wise: Quick is now 26, Howard was 26 when he was up for the Calder THREE YEARS ago. There’s plenty of time. It could still fall apart but he’s developing right on time.

  11. I think what everyone forgets is that the price tag for Varlamov may or may not have been a good one; what made that deal questionable is that the Av’s very well could have gotten him for less. Had they extended an offer sheet, Washington would have been unlikely to match – they were going in a different direction with their goaltenders. I can’t remember what the compensation would have been, but it would have been less than they sent over in a trade. The Caps were prepared to get nothing for Varlamov and let him walk. History will judge whether Varlamov was worth his price, but they may have paid too much by virtue of the fact that they could have paid less.

  12. I snipe on every one of these goalies in practice.

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