Varlamov gets back into KHL action

Semyon Varlamov returned to KHL action on Friday night after what might have been a knee injury.

The situation was a bit cloudy. The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater reported that it happened on Dec. 2, but noted that solid information was scarceThe Avalanche’s European fan site notes that Varlamov said he wasn’t injured, yet his KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl confirmed it.

That’s some odd stuff, but either way, the Russian netminder played well during his return on Friday, stopping 24 out of 25 shots in a 4-1 win against Yekaterinburg.

The confusion could be a matter of playing overseas. Then again, Varlamov might be deliberately clouding the situation because he’s dealt with knee problems in the past (as Dater notes).

Regardless, Varlamov has been playing well when he manages to suit up. So far, he’s 8-2-3 with an outstanding .952 save percentage and 1.58 GAA.

It all indicates that Varlamov could very well carry momentum into the season – CBA and health permitting.

Blues’ Shattenkirk suffers lower-body injury

Kevin Shattenkirk
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This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.

Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.

While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.

There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.

Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.

Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:

It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning


In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.