Varlamov deserves Hart consideration

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The last goalie to win the NHL’s Hart Trophy as the “player judged most valuable to his team” was Jose Theodore, back in 2002 for the Montreal Canadiens.

Only seven times since the award was first handed out in 1924 has a goalie been deemed the winner.

This year, the heavy favorite to win the Hart is Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby, whose 103 points are far and away the most in the NHL.

But all that doesn’t mean Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov shouldn’t at least be in the conversation.

“He’s one of the reasons we are where we are,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said, per NHL.com. “He has been so good and that’s why, looking at the standings today, seeing us with the Blues and not too far from Boston, I think he should be considered a Hart Trophy winner.”

Consider:

— Varlamov leads all goalies with 41 victories
— No goalie has made more saves than his 1,867
— Among regular netminders, only two — Josh Harding (.933) and Tuukka Rask (.929) — have a higher save percentage than his .927
— The Avs are 35-7-3 when they’ve been outshot. No team has that many wins in that situation, and no team has that high a win percentage

“He’s been tremendous,” captain Gabriel Landeskog said of Varlamov. “I think it’s safe to say we wouldn’t be here without him.”

And that’s the key right there. Where would the Avs be without their goalie? Remember, this is a team that finished last in the Western Conference last year.

Varlamov’s save percentage in 2013? A lowly .903.