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2015-16 Colorado Avalanche Year-End Review: Semyon Varlamov


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not sure there's a more polarizing player currently with the Avalanche than Semyon Varlamov. When I say that, I mean it in the context of there's probably as many Avalanche fans who attribute their successes to his good play, as there are fans who attribute the Avalanche's failures to his poor play. Varlamov is truly seen by many as an asset or a liability for the club. To be quite honest, in the 2015-16 season, he was truly both at times.

Varlamov had a few games this season that were just awful. The early 5-0 trouncing from the Bruins in October, the Stadium Series game against Detroit, and the pivotal March game at Minnesota all come to mind. Counteract that with some really stellar performances from Varlamov in the February game at Dallas when he stopped 42 of 43 saves against the Stars when the Avs could only muster 15 shots that night. Or when he shut out the Ducks in Denver in mid-March stopping all 37 shots the Ducks threw at him. There's a real mixed bag in there that we could dive further into, but let's look at some stats.

Varlamov's save percentage with SOG against, which was 32.3/game, came 3rd to last in the NHL this season. The shot attempts per game he faced averaged 62.2, and that was the worst any goaltender in the league faced. I'd love to see what Varlamov's record and numbers would come out to if he had Nashville's defense in front of him, whom I believe to have the best defense in the NHL right now, as opposed to Colorado's, who might have the league's worst, but that's not the case. Electing how much blame to put on Varlamov and how much blame to put on the Avs' defense for games where many goals are surrendered is up for anyone's judgement.

MHH Survey Grade: 67.7%

Our census poll showed that. I think I put him down as a C, because he did carry this team at parts, and then there were other times the team had to carry him or get by without him. That's where we get back into the asset/liability mumbo jumbo. I look forward to reading the forthcoming comments on his season performance from you lot.