Goalie Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche defends the goal against the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center on March 8, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Blackhawks 6-2 to end the Chicago's 30 game undefeated streak.
(March 7, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

Patrick Roy helps Varlamov change style


Patrick Roy has a lot of work ahead of him as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, but one of his bigger tasks will be attempting to turn around the career of goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

The Colorado Avalanche sacrificed a first round pick (used on Filip Forsberg) and second rounder (Mike Winther) to get Varlamov in 2011 and so far the return has been mediocre at best. Still, Varlamov is only 25 years old and he’s just been given a Hall of Fame goaltender to study under.

Roy brought in his old goaltending coach, Francois Allaire, to help and the duo has begun the process of modifying Varlamov’s approach to the game, according to the Denver Post. For example, they want Varlamov to keep his glove hand significantly higher so that shooters see less open net.

“That’s the first big change for him,” Roy said. “And you know what? He’s extremely receptive.”

Varlamov is scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. How he does in 2013-14 could determine the Avalanche’s willingness to commit to him being their long-term starter.


Roy: ‘I don’t want to necessarily be the head coach’ in Colorado

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.