Despite third-degree assault charges hanging over his head, Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov remains fully in the mix to be the starting Russian netminder at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Just ask his head coach.
“He’s probably going to be the No. 1 goalie for them in the Olympics, and he’ll be ready for it, no doubt in my mind,” Patrick Roy told the Denver Post. “If I was the Russian coach, I would use him, but I’m not.”
Varlamov was one of the five goalies invited to this summer’s orientation camp, along with Evgeni Nabokov, Sergei Bobrovsky and a pair of KHL netminders, Konstantin Barulin and Vasily Koschechkin.
Of the three NHLers, Varlamov’s performance ranks well above the rest — he’s 13-6-0 this season with a 2.13 GAA and .933 save percentage and has played remarkably well despite his personal issues, posting a .924 save percentage in November while recording his first shutout of the year.
What’s more, Varlamov’s quest for the No. 1 gig has been aided by injuries to both Nabokov and Bobrovsky, both of whom are currently on IR.
He’s also won over Roy, who is extremely pleased with how the 25-year-old Russian has performed thus far.
“Right now, he’s working very hard,” Roy said. “He’s very focused and I think he’ll do a good job for them, depending on the decision of their coach.”