Now that the Colorado Avalanche season has come to a close certain situations from the regular season stand out as highlights for what this team is capable of. A rough start to the season had the Avalanche fighiting for there playoff lives as early as January. When he was healthy, goalie Semyon Varlamov was strong game in and game out, but the high point of his season came in a game on January 6 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The game started just as sthe Avalanche would have liked when they scored two goals in the first 76 seconds of the game. With 18:44 left in the first period the Avalanche found themselves up 2 goals to 0 and it would turn out that would be all the goals scored in the game.
For the rest of the game it was Varlamov that held the fort. The Blackhawks would have a constant onslaught all game long as players like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marrian Hossa are capable of but Varlamov remained strong.
The Blackhawks were fairly consistent in its shot production from the start of the game to the final buzzer. In the first period, the Hawks were credited with 17 shots on net compared to the 14 credited to the Avalanchee. However the score reflected a differnt story. In the second period the Hawks would register 21 shots, six of which came on the powerplay but again Varlamov said no to all. Witb the game coming to a close and Varlamov looking to be unbeatable, the Hawks put another 16 shots on net in the third but it was not enough. Varlamov completed the 54 save shutout and secured two points in the standings for the Avalanche.
In January of 2014 Varlamov signed a five year contract extension to remain with the Avalanche through the 2018-2019 season. It is games like the game against the Hawks that proves he was worth the exntension, the money he got paid, and that he should be the number one between the pipes in Denver. The current Avalanche roster shows great future promise and Varlamov will certainly be part of that roster for years to come. In a season that did not feature the Avalanche in the playoffs, games like this shutout for Varlamov can give Avalanche faithful hope of what is to come.
I am a University of New Mexico journalism student who has been watching NHL hockey since 1996 and I started playing hockey myself in 2003. I have covered both college soccer and volleyball in the past and I also contribute to a NASCAR news website.