The Russians have been alternating their goaltenders throughout the Olympics, so even after Vezina Trophy-winning netminder Sergei Bobrovsky posted a 22-save shutout against Norway in Tuesday’s qualification round match, Russia went with Semyon Varlamov against Finland.
It didn’t work out.
Although Russia’s defense deserves its fair share of the blame, Varlamov allowed three goals on 15 shots as Finland took a 3-1 lead by 5:37 of the second period. With Russia’s chances of winning a medal on home ice — let alone the gold — in jeopardy, they went back to Bobrovsky.
The Russians have had no shortage of problems and concerns in this tournament, from their questionable defense, to a top line with Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin that hasn’t been able to dominate like they should, to a theoretically deadly top power-play unit that hasn’t clicked. Although Russia has been able to defeat teams that have far less star power and talent, it hasn’t looked particularly good overall.
The one exception has been Russia’s goaltending as both Varlamov and Bobrovsky have been superb in this tournament — or at least that was the case going into the quarterfinals.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.