Protecting Semyon Varlamov in the expansion draft has put the Colorado Avalanche in a difficult position. Over 80% of his career starts with this franchise have either been over 930 or under 900. There’s no doubt that he is going to win games by himself this year.
It’s just not clear which team he’s going to win them for — the Avalanche, or their opposition.
And whatever the case, his play is liable to cloud the true state of the team. The two most damaging scenarios occur if the goalie and the skaters are on opposite wavelengths. If everyone is bad or good there’s little worry.
But if Varlamov is significantly better or worse than the skaters, it could spell trouble.
The bottom line is that the only predictable thing about Varlamov’s play is that it’s going to be amazing or poor. History suggests he won’t be in the middle very often.
All that’s left to see is which one shows up this season. And how that impacts the direction the front office takes the team in.