Colorado Avalanche GM Greg Sherman caught a lot of heat this summer when he traded a 2012 first-round pick and a second-round selection in either 2012 or 2013 to Washington for Semyon Varlamov.
Months later, that heat seems to have cooled. Colorado is off to a great start and so far, Varlamov has been worth the investment. (Emphasis on the “so far” part.)
Tonight, the Avs were on the losing end of a 3-1 scoreline against Chicago — but the goaltending was stellar. Varlamov stopped 27 of 29 shots and earned first star honors, highlighted by this save on Marcus Kruger with five minutes to go in the third period:
With a .938 save percentage and a goals-against average hovering around 2.00, Varlamov is putting up similar numbers to those Craig Anderson posted during Colorado’s surprising 2009-10 campaign. The Avs came into that season with tempered expectations, but stunned the NHL by making the playoffs and giving top-seeded San Jose a fight in the opening round.
Varlamov’s got the talent to replicate that kind success, but will need to stay healthy to do so — and historically, that’s been a problem. A litany of groin and knee problems have limited him to just 57 starts over the last four seasons, not the kind of numbers you’d expect from a No. 1 netminder.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.