Semyon Varlamov was given the chance to make his mark on Russian hockey history by starting in the team’s quarterfinals game against Finland. He had been solid in the 2014 Winter Olympics to that point, but the 25-year-old goaltender allowed three goals on 15 Finnish shots before being pulled.
The Russian defense playing in front of him certainly deserves its fair share of the blame, but it was still a demoralizing end to what had the potential to be a truly special tournament for the Russians.
Now heading back to the Colorado Avalanche, Varlamov will report to the coach who has helped revitalize his career, Patrick Roy. For his part, Roy thinks Varlamov’s rough finish in Sochi might actually help him rise to the occasion.
“I have no doubt in my mind that he’s not happy about the way that he played, and he’s going to look at himself in the mirror — and I think that’s what makes a career,” Roy told the Denver Post.
“It’s not always perfect. That’s the way it was for me anyway. I think that’s going to make him a better hockey player. It’ll prepare him even better for the next time. It’s going to help him in his approach to the games he’s going to play until the end of the year to the playoffs.”
The Avalanche are a serious contender this season, but they will need Varlamov to be at his best once the playoffs start. It will provide him with a nearly immediate opportunity to bounce back, but it could also serve to add to the disappointment going into the summer.
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not: