Varlamov hasn't given a Russian interview in quite some time, as far as I could find. I gave up stalking the Russian internets very often because there wasn't anything to find. I stumbled upon an interview of Varly published on 1/18/2012. TJ from Alex Ovetjkin blog very nicely translated the interview for us. I updated the post below with TJ's translation, or you can read it here on the Alex Ovetjkin blog. It would be nice if we could leave comments on the blog to thank TJ for the effort (TJ is not a Varly fan, just a nice person).
Natalia Shmeleva, Dallas
Perhaps the unluckiest guy of all games played that day in the NHL was Colorado's Russian goalkeeper, who let Phoenix to score six goals.
Skiing is Prohibited by the Contract
How do you evaluate their performance?
Varlamov: This year I am not quite satisfied with my performance. The stats do not shine. I can play better.
Colorado Hockey experts say that you are in very tough competition with veteran Giguere. Is this true?
Giguere and I take turns, trying to give the team a chance in every game. They put us on principle whoever is playing better at this stage, is playing. That is correct. If I play better, they put me, if Giguere, he plays.
Goalkeeper's statistics depend largely on the team's defense. You can say that it is not a priority for Colorado.
The NHL teams think first and foremost about the defense. You won't be able to win in this league, if it is not there. You can't win the Cup with offense only.
Where and how did you celebrate the New Year?
Nothing special, we had a tough schedule. On December 31st I was playing in Anaheim, and on January 2nd in Los Angeles. So I celebrated the New Year in California. After the game we went to a restaurant for a dinner, I had a glass of champagne.
Do you miss the traditional [Russian] New Year celebration playing in the NHL?
I got used to it. I forgot already the last time I celebrated the New Year at home. The last five years was on the road, either having a game or working out.
Colorado is a state of ski resorts. Do you take the advantage of it?
I love to ski ever since my childhood. Unfortunately we were not allowed to ski by the contract. I really like to go to Aspen. This resort is located three and a half hours by car from me. I often drive there. A great city, a place to rest, awesome restaurants and shops. I go there just to rest, recover psychologically from the games.
Were you able to see our junior team at the World Cup?
Yes, it was a great team with awesome players. I was especially pleased with goalkeepers. They were playing great! Our goalies were moving great in the quarterfinals, semifinals and in the final. They were psychologically stable, except for the game with the Canadians. But playing with Canadians is always particularly difficult. I think that if you are 18 playing at a high level with such a psychological pressure is hard. I'm glad that we still beat them. In the end, it seemed that our team was tired mentally after Canadians. It was noticeable, they kept the game going the finals at the expense of the goalkeeper.
Malkin and Ovechkin bet with their Canadian teammates in a game with Canada. Did you bet? [Note: Ovi and Alzner bet a bottle of wine and Ovi made Alzner wear a team Russia jersey during practice]
The guys offered to bet, but I refused. I was just curious about the result.
Did you feel not so confident that we will win?
No, I was confident. Though in this sport one can never be sure a hundred percent.
Where did you watch the junior championship?
At home. On the Canadian channel TSN.
Bryzgalov has No Rivals
Have you seen by chance [HBO 24/7] show about Philadelphia that made our goalie Bryzgalov famous?
I watched, I saw it all. But I won't comment on it.
Who can compete with Bryzgalov for the sense of humor among our Russians in the NHL?
I think that no one else can. He's the only one. Everyone knows it. We met once at the Olympics playing for team Russia. Ilya is a very nice person to talk to.
Is this TV fame good or bad for goalie's career?
I don't even know. I probably could not do the same.
Why there are so many concussions in the NHL?
Apparently because of the fact that the game has changed. Players fly at high speeds, and sometimes, it happens, do not see each other. The game is very physical. Sometimes only one touch to the head can lead to the player's concussion. Thank God, I never had a concussion. But I get hit in the head with the puck a lot. Well, it's good that goalies have a reliable protective equipment, it helps.
How to fix it? Increase or decrease the size of the skating rink or to play 4 on 4?
No, let it be five on five, one just needs to be ready to play in this league. If you are not ready, then, of course, you'll be getting injuries, concussions and other problems.
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