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Analysis: Semyon Varlamovs plummeting save percentage is a problem for the Avalanche
18 2018 . The Denver Post. By Mike Chambers

The 30-year-old goalie has seen his SP slide from .927 to .913 in five games

The Avalanche didnt deserve to win Monday because its high-powered offense wasnt clicking against the New York Islanders and the goaltending was again below average. Goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped just 17-of-20 shots for a .850 save percentage the fourth time in his last five starts that number has been below .900.

The Islanders went 2-for-4 on the power play and won 4-1 at the Pepsi Center.

Varlamov has allowed 21 goals in five games since backstopping the Avs to a 2-0 triumph Dec. 2 at Detroit. His save percentages in the ensuing four games after the big win against the Red Wings: .813 at Pittsburgh, .783 at Tampa Bay, .833 against Edmonton and .905 versus Dallas. He was relieved of his duties in losses against the Lightning and Oilers.

On the season, Varlamovs save percentage has plummeted from .927 after the win at Detroit to .913, which ranks 20th among goalies who have played at least 10 games. Make no mistake, the 30-year-old Russian is due for another big game his M-O in eight seasons with the Avs but his lack of consistency lately is why Colorado is 1-3-1 in its last five games.

Goalie option 1B, Philipp Grubauer, hasnt been great, either, as his .897 save percentage in 13 games can attest. The Avs (18-10-6) just arent getting enough goaltending to overcome an average night in the offensive zone, which is basically how Colorado coach Jared Bednar summed up Varlamovs performance Monday.

He was OK, the coach said of No. 1, who is in the final year of a five-year, $29.5 million contract that features a $5.9 million annual cap hit. Our whole team, I thought we were just OK. I thought (the Islanders) were the hungrier team tonight. They did a really nice job defending.

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