Colorado Avalanche Are In No-Win Situation With Varlamov As Their Goalie

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 11: Colorado Avalanche Goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) takes a breather after fighting off two penalties during the regular season NHL game between the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs on December 11, 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 11: Colorado Avalanche Goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) takes a breather after fighting off two penalties during the regular season NHL game between the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs on December 11, 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – JANUARY 12: Goaltender Semyon Varlamov
DENVER, CO – JANUARY 12: Goaltender Semyon Varlamov /

4-LOMov

One of the two most likely candidates is 4-LOMov, a rather cruel nickname I – and probably some others – came up with a couple years back. While the moniker might resonate with Star Wars fans, it was mostly born of frustration during one of the stretches where Varlamov gave up 4 goals against probably less often than it felt.

44 of 282 starts with the Colorado Avalanche meet the criteria of an F. It’s a little bit unsettling that he has only 7 fewer games below 850 than he does between 900-929. He also has 60 starts that qualify as Ds, his second most common result.

This means that 104 of his 282 games have ended with a SV% under 900. That’s almost 2 out of every 5 games. He’s been in the pretty bad to downright awful range more than twice as often as he’s been in the slightly below to slightly above average range.

That’s bad news for a young team that’s likely to make a lot of mistakes. There’s much more variation season to season in his D and F games than in B and C, making any sort of projection troublesome. His average is about 37%, with a high of 55% and a low of 18%

Going off Sakic’s 50 games target, Varlamov’s career average suggests that he’ll be below 900 roughly 18 times this season, though with a wide margin of error.

That is ugly.

But there’s always another side to the coin.