Tonight’s goaltending performance by Semyon Varlamov reminded me a lot of Peter Budaj’s years with the Avalanche. In a game the team really needed to win, the goaltender – Budaj then, Varlamov tonight – couldn’t make a big save when it counted. As a result, the Avs came out of a game just like in so many with Budaj – “tough luck” losers. But a loser, regardless.
Varlamov was not the only reason the Avs lost tonight to the Edmonton Oilers – we’ll get to more culprits a bit later here – but he was the biggest reason why.
The soft goal allowed to Taylor Hall in the third period was the killer, the goal that put the Oilers up 3-1. A routine wrister from the half-boards from Ales Hemsky turned into a big, bouncy rebound out front for a Hall wrister to the top shelf. Avs make a late charge, but too little too late. Such a common theme of Avs games – especially against division opponents in big games in the last few years.
Varlamov had a chance to reclaim the No. 1 job tonight, but he blew