Former Capitals goaltender and Vezina Trophy finalist Semyon Varlamov had a very bad night against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday — and he didn’t even start. After Colorado Avalanche goaltender Calvin Pickard let in three goals by the midway mark of the first period, Varlamov came on in relief, allowing six goals on just 16 shots. Pickard was back in for the third, with another goal getting by him just for kicks. Varly played less than 33 minutes, leaving the game with a .625 save percentage, which is not good.
The Canadiens won 10-1.
Capitals teammates Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov spent Thursday together in Russia supporting friend and former Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk, who retired from the NHL over the summer, played his first home game for SKA St. Petersburg.
It took just 38 seconds for him to score.
Remember when we would share laughs when Braden Holtby out-sassed opponents? Those nights are rarer now that the Holtbeast, under the tutelage of Mitch Korn, has found inner-peace.
Former Capital goalie Semyon Varlamov, however: not so much.
Under insane head coach Patrick Roy, Varly is a fierce mama bear in net. When Tom Wilson came uninvited into the blue paint a month back, Varlamov punched Wilson right in the face. Against Dallas on Tuesday, Varly would have none of Vernon Fiddler’s stick-poking.
The Caps’ fourth line, who had been irritating Colorado all night, drew a big penalty late in the second period. After Tom Wilson drove to the crease, Semyon Varlmov threw a left cross that hit the Toronto native square in the face.
Not really though. Varly got all face shield. Great acting job by Willy Baby.
Wednesday night ahead of Washington’s game against the Avalanche, Caps Russians Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov reunited with Semyon Varlamov and hung out in downtown Denver. If Ovi and Kuzya had put on those cowboy get-ups again, we might have hit the RMNB pageview jackpot.
Unfortunately, The Varlamonster won’t play tomorrow night because of #brittlegroin so, no, three years later, nothing has really changed.
As evidenced by some Instagram photos last weekend, former Washington Capitals goaltender Semyon Varlamov is back in the states to start training for next season– just like his Russian compatriots Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov.
Varly, who finished second in voting for last year’s Vezina Trophy, is working out with expert trainer Steve Saunders for the third straight offseason.
Last week, to improve his explosive strength, Varly attached himself to a bungee cord and did some power jumps away from the wall. It did not go well.
Saturday night, Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov drove up to Atlantic City to watch the WBO light heavyweight champion of the world, Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev, box Blake Caparello. Kovalev hails from Chelyabinsk, Russia, Kuznetsov’s hometown, and won via a vicious TKO in round two.
Photo: Ron Chenoy
Former Capital Semyon Varlamov had an incredible year for the Colorado Avalanche, taking the Avs from last to first in the standings. He is likely to win the Vezina Trophy in June as the league’s best goaltender.
Unfortunately for Varly, this season — like many in the past — ends with a bitter taste in his mouth. Semyon Varlamov played in another game seven, and Semyon Varlamov in game sevens is not very good.
Against the Wild on Wednesday, Varly played his first game seven in four years — since he put up an .875 save percentage against the Montreal Canadiens. Varly was shaky again against Minnesota, making 30 saves on 35 shots for a .857 save percentage. He gave up the series-winning goal to Nino Niederreiter five minutes into overtime.
Varlamov is 1-for-4 in game sevens in his career with a lifetime .857 save percentage.
There’s only one thing left to do.
Photo: Doug Pensinger
In Patrick Roy’s first game as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, he set the tone of the Avs’ season when he got into a glass-shoving incident with Bruce Boudreau on the bench. The Avs, who went from worst to first this season, have taken on Roy’s fiery personality.
Even young Russian daffodil Semyon Varlamov has allowed parts of Roy’s take no shit attitude to seep into his game. Consider Friday night against the Minnesota Wild.
In Game One, as the Wild’s Mikko Koivu attempted to pressure an Avs breakout, he got a bit too close to Varlamov’s crease and he learned that you DON’T SASS THE VARLAMONSTER.
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