It’s OK to pass judgment on the Avalanche trading a first round pick for Semyon Varlamov after just his second game, right? Varlamov stopped 30 shots in shutting out the Boston Bruins 1-0. Through two games, Varlamov’s been busy but good. He stopped 36 shots in a 3-0 loss to Detroit on Saturday night, but came up huge against the defending champions today.
Making the game stand up even more is that his teammates could only get one goal past Bruins starter Tuukka Rask in 36 shots. Only Milan Hejduk’s late third period goal eluded the Bruins backup but it was enough to give Varlamov his first win and shutout of the season.
Colorado is a team that’s either going to sneak into the Western Conference playoffs or finish in the draft lottery. If the latter happens, the Washington Capitals will be the beneficiaries of a high draft pick. Just what the great Caps need, a potential top-ten pick. For now, if Varlamov can turn in a few more performances like that, giving away a high draft pick won’t be a big worry for Colorado and winning in the playoffs will be their main concern.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.