For some time, Washington Capitals fans crowed about how much their team won the trade that sent Semyon Varlamov to Colorado. One can still debate that point, but the former Caps goalie enjoyed cold revenge on Saturday, as his Avalanche crushed Washington 5-1.
Caps fans might just miss Varlamov, too, as he’s starting the 2013-14 season red-hot while both Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth flounder in D.C.
Neuvirth was the victim tonight, allowing five goals on 28 shots. Colorado beat him three times at even-strength, once on the power play and even once shorthanded.
It’s super early, but some Caps fans might weep at how their goalies are comparing to Varlamov so far:
Varlamov, 25: 4-0-0, .970 save percentage, 1.00 GAA
Holtby, 24: 0-3-0, .873 save percentage, 4.04 GAA
Neuvirth, 25: 1-1-0, .893 save percentage, 3.30 GAA
Washington’s top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson has been a bright spot to start, but they had a rough night, combining for a -8 rating and zero points. Eric Fehr scored the shutout-spoiling goal in the third period.
Meanwhile, the Avalanche continue to ride high, improving their record to 5-0-0 as their goaltending remains hot and their offense continues to be dangerous and diverse (2013 first-rounder Nathan MacKinnon scored his first goal of the season and added his fifth assist).
Varlamov won’t be able to maintain a .970 save percentage much longer, and at least one of Washington’s goalies should start figuring things out, but the two teams seemed to be headed in starkly different directions on Saturday.