9 — The number of NHL general managers who thought Semyon Varlamov deserved to win the Vezina Trophy. Unfortunately for him, 16 thought Tuukka Rask deserved it, so the award went to the Bruins’ excellent netminder. But Varlamov finished a close second in the voting, well in front of the other finalist, Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop.
1,867 — The number of saves Varlamov made in 2013-14. That was the most of any NHL goalie, and significantly more than Rask (1,526), who played behind a Boston team that gave up fewer shots on average (29.1) than Colorado (32.7).
6 — The number of times Varlamov stopped 40 shots or more and the Avs won the game. The 26-year-old’s highest save total in a victory was 47, in a 3-2 win over San Jose on Mar. 29. Rask, by comparison, stopped 40 or more shots in two Boston victories last season.
.927 — Varlamov’s save percentage. Among goalies who started more than 30 games, only Rask (.930) stopped a higher percentage of the shots he faced. Varlamov did have a .924 save percentage in 2010-11 with the Washington Capitals, but he only started 25 games that season, compared to 60 this past season.
$5.9 million — The cap hit of Varlamov’s new contract, which he signed in January and runs through 2018-19. Per CapGeek, there are now only seven goalies with a higher cap hit than Varlamov’s.
Are the Avs due for a downfall?
Varlamov deserves Hart consideration
It wasn’t pretty, and they might have lost key defenseman Matt Niskanen to injury, but at least the Washington Capitals managed a win against the Boston Bruins.
For a while, it was looking pretty ugly.
After going up 3-0, the Capitals went more than a period’s worth of time without even managing a shot on goal. Whether you lean more toward giving the Bruins credit for fighting back or beating up the Capitals for “sitting on a lead,” it’s staggering that such a dangerous offense could be held in check for so long.
Luckily for Washington, Nicklas Backstrom salvaged the night with an overtime goal to give the Capitals a 4-3 overtime win.
Both teams have had a knack for extending games beyond regulation lately, by the way:
Capitals over the last three games:
Shootout loss to the Lightning
Overtime win against the Sabres
Overtime win tonight against the Bruins
Bruins over the last five games:
Shootout loss against Flyers
Shootout win against Hurricanes
Regulation win against Sabres
Overtime win against Panthers
Overtime loss to the Capitals
Maybe that’s what gets it done in 2016-17: finding ways to carve out wins and shake out rough patches, like the Caps did tonight.
Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.
The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.
(Check out video of the hit above.)
The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.
Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?
Washington currently leads the game 3-2.
There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.
Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.
The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.
It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.
The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.
Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?
(If you’re into that kind of thing.)
Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form: