Varly took a slight dip last in his 2014-15 campaign, which, I mean, that's hardly surprising after he came in 2nd in Vezina voting the year before. His save percentage ended up at .921 which is really a hilarious number to call a "dip." However, he was a little bit more prone to injury than he had been the prior year, playing 57 games for the Avalanche. At even strength that percentage was actually slightly lower, .916, which points us next to his positively heroic campaign shorthanded. Last season Varly stopped 245 of 260 SOG on the penalty kill, good for .942 SV%. That was good for tops in the league among regulars. Everyone who posted better shorthanded numbers than Varlamov last year played between 1 and 7 games.
What does this mean for 2015?
There wasn't much tremendously out of the ordinary for Varlamov, which means probably the safest bet is to predict more of the same. He is changing his summer workouts to include more sort of fitness training to hopefully address the fitness issue. I can't remember where I read that, and searching for it gave me nothing at all, but I'm still going to present it as fact and hopefully friend of the blog vtcaps will help me out. (You can call this Staff Writer Laziness if you want and you'd be right but hey I just voluntarily committed to writing daily throughout fuckin August here, give us a break.)
The hope would be that he plays more games, due both to a stronger summer and a reduced in-game workload, as the Avs have taken some steps to improve their shot suppression. If there's one change to bet on, though, it's that he doesn't put up anywhere near that .942 SV% on the penalty kill.
I would look for Semyon Varlamov to play more, benefit from facing less shots, and continue being a boss in the 2015-16 season, although he won't stop as many pucks shorthanded as you may be used to.
But that's enough SteveOpinion. The main point of this series is you, of course: What sort of show do you expect Varlamov to put on this season?
You guys, this title is terrible. You can help by leaving a suggestion in the comments. I'll use the best or the funniest in tomorrow's installment.