#5. Semyon Varlamov Gets Character Win
Nov 19, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) deflects a shot from Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) during the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Avalanche players found out right before the April 4, 2015, game against the LA Kings that the team had been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. It wasn’t a big surprise, but it was clearly a big downer as the Avs went on to record only 10 shots on goal in a 3-1 loss.
Colorado still had three more games to play out for the season, all at home. Captain Gabriel Landeskog swore the players would do their best to gain victories. Well, Semyon Varlamov heard that vow and made it happen in the April 8th 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators in front of the home crowd.
It wasn’t an easy win for Varlamov. He faced 42 shots from a team that had dominated the Central Division for most of the season and was heading into the playoffs. However, he recorded an impressive .952 save percentage to secure the win.
This game is best-known for containing Avalanche center Joey Hishon’s first-ever NHL goal. However, here’s a final save by Varlamov followed by the crowd’s reaction to his and the team’s efforts that night: