With Varlamov out with groin injury, Avalanche’s Berra will need to continue stellar play

Jared Clinton
Reto Berra (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The start to Semyon Varlamov’s season hasn’t quite gone how the 27-year-old netminder would have hoped and he hit another road block Thursday as the Colorado Avalanche have announced Varlamov be out on a day-to-day basis due to a groin injury.

Varlamov, who hasn’t played since Nov. 5 in a 4-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, has struggled at the best of times thus far. Through 10 games, he has a 3-6-1 record, has allowed 31 goals against on 281 shots, has a 3.26 goals-against average of 3.26 and a .890 save percentage, which is the fifth-worst mark in the NHL of all goaltenders to suit up in at least five games.

The picture doesn’t get any better when looking at Varlamov’s play at 5-on-5, either. Of the 31 netminders to play at least 350 minutes at 5-on-5, Varlamov has the third-worst SP at .893. Only Calgary’s Karri Ramo and Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky have a worse SP. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Ducks, Flames, Avs, and Jackets looking for quick fix

Anaheim Ducks Announce Bruce Boudreau

A month into this new NHL season, the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, and Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves mired near the bottom of the league’s overall standings. While it’s rumored they’re shopping around for help, they’ve yet to find trade partners willing to assist them.

In an interview with USA Today, TSN insider Bob McKenzie reported Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray was trying to make a deal, but he’s unwilling to do anything rash. He also believed the Blue Jackets are still in the market for a defenseman. Earlier in the week, McKenzie named the Avalanche among several teams with interest in demoted Edmonton Oilers blueliner Nikita Nikitin.

Read more

Watch Peter Forsberg go undercover, play alongside men’s league team

Jared Clinton
Peter Forsberg as "Kent" (via Aftonbladet)

So, what has Peter Forsberg been up to since retiring? Oh, nothing much. A little of this, little of that, maybe putting on a wig, getting professional makeup done and hitting the ice with a men’s league team in Sweden.

As part of a stunt, Forsberg went undercover as “Kent,” a recreation league player from Northern Sweden who has had a few years off between his last time on the ice. Forsberg, as Kent, took the ice with the Huddinge Hockey Veterans, but when Kent turned his game on, the men’s league players started to get a bit suspicious: Read more

Are the Colorado Avalanche doomed to repeat history?

Ryan Kennedy
Matt Duchene (Karl Gehring/The Denver Post)

This past spring was pretty good for a couple members of the Colorado Avalanche. They weren’t wearing burgundy at the time, but still…a championship is a championship.

Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie and the since-traded Ryan O’Reilly helped Canada win gold at the World Championship in the Czech Republic. They were all available, of course, because the Avs missed the playoffs, one year after winning the Central Division.

So after two seasons, we had a pretty incomplete picture of what kind of coach Patrick Roy is at the NHL level. Does he have another Jack Adams Award in him, or is he closer to losing his bench gig altogether?

Read more

Goalies blamed for poor starts in Boston, Colorado, and Columbus, but it’s not all their fault


The Bruins, Blue Jackets, and Avalanche haven’t had great starts to the season, and it seems a lot of fingers are being pointed toward their goalies. Boston’s Tuukka Rask hasn’t been very sharp at all, Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov has already fallen out of favor with head coach Patrick Roy, and Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky has let in four or more goals in five consecutive games.

It’s an ugly start that’s a bit shocking considering their output over the last few years. In the two seasons prior, Rask has had a sparkling .936 save percentage at 5-on-5 (and a Vezina trophy) while Bobrovsky (a Vezina in 2013) and Varlamov (second to Rask in 2014) are at .928 and .927 respectively.

Read more

Sakic, Forsberg, Bourque named to fan-selected Avalanche 20th anniversary team

Jared Clinton
Ray Bourque (Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s been 20 seasons since the Colorado Avalanche hit the ice in Denver and the club announced its plan to honor 21 members, both past and present, who have played a major part in the franchise’s success over the past two decades.

As part of the ceremonies, which are set to take place Dec. 7 before a tilt against the visiting Minnesota Wild, Avalanche fans were asked to select a roster of 12 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders who would be honored by the franchise. The criteria for the fan-selected roster were that each forward or defenseman had to have played at least 246 regular season games for the team, goaltenders had to have suited up for 75 games or the player had to have his jersey retired by the team.

It’s by that last point, jersey retirement, that defenseman Ray Bourque was selected to the 20th anniversary team. Bourque is inarguably one of the most talented defensemen to ever suit up in the league, but he played a scant 94 games of his 1,600-plus game career with the Avalanche over two seasons. He was a member of the 2001 Stanley Cup-winning Avalanche club and retired shortly after the Cup victory. The Avalanche retired Bourque’s jersey in November 2001. Read more

From Ovechkin to Jagr, 10 NHL milestones to watch for this season

Jaromir Jagr (Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)

Highly touted rookies such as Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid, Max Domi and Nikolaj Ehlers have already notched their first NHL goals, earning their first major milestone. But while rookies build their careers from the ground up, a number of wily veterans are chasing some big-time career marks.

Already this season, Steven Stamkos and Tomas Plekanec have reached the coveted 500-point mark for their careers. Both reached the milestone with goals within the last week, but there are a few players who can reach even greater heights this season — we’re talking Hall of Fame-calibre milestones.

Take Jaromir Jagr, for instance. The 43-year-old ageless wonder is already a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, but he has six points in his first four games with the Florida Panthers this season and continues to inch ever-closer to the top of the all-time scoring list. Jagr’s teammate, goaltender Roberto Luongo, is also moving up the ladder when it comes to all-time marks for netminders and should be able to reach a couple in 2015-16.

Here are the top 10 milestones to watch this season: Read more