A good goaltender can win you Stanley Cups. This is evident by the fact that the past two winners of the Conn Smythe Trophy were both very deserving goalies. Tim Thomas help the B's capture Lord Stanley's prize and Jonathan Quick led the LA Kings on an epic run that helped an eighth seed win it all for the first time ever.
Last summer, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Avs were going to sign the veteran former all-star, Tomas Vokoun.
Instead, Greg Sherman made an unexpected splash and acquired maligned former first-round pick, Semyon Varlamov as the team's goaltender of the future.
While this move cost the Avs two high draft picks, it is capable of reaping much more reward than the short-term Vokoun would have.
Varlamov had a roller coaster ride of a first season with the Avs. Shortly before the season began, a tragic plane crash claimed the lives of many of Varly's former teammates of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. No question, this deeply affected Varlamov.
Varly's stats were up and down throughout the first part of the season and he even began to lose starts to the Avs' veteran backup, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who had a very good season last year.
Down the stretch however, Varly put things into another gear and was the primary reason the Avs were still in the playoff hunt at the end of the season. The Avs will need for him to build on that kind of play in order for the team to be successful.
Varlamov is a very talented goalie. His reflexes are very quick and he has all the tools in place to become a bona fide No. 1 NHL goaltender and an All-star. Once he gains consistency, the sky is the limit for Varly and the Avs.
2011-12 Highlight: In only his second game in an Avalanche sweater, Varlamov shut out the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins in Boston. Varly made 30 saves in the Avs 1-0 victory over the Bruins during their sole meeting of the year.