Varlamov will undergo season-ending hip surgery in an attempt to repair his injured groin. The goaltender last played on Jan. 17 and has dealt with this injury for nearly the entire season. While he has proven to be a top-tier NHL goaltender in past seasons, Varlamov has struggled mightily this campaign (6-17-1, 3.38 GAA, .898 save percentage). In Varlamov's absence, Calvin Pickard will take the lion's share of starts and Spencer Martin will serve as the team's backup.
Varlamov (groin) will be shut down until after the All-Star break, according to Avs coach Jared Bednar. All-Star weekend will commence Jan. 29, so this news effectively rules out Colorado's starting backstop for at least the next four games. Since Varly continues to be hampered by the groin ailment, it becomes that much more important to give him ample rest and recovery time. Calvin Pickard -- who is coming off a start for which he turned in a .972 save percentage -- will be the de facto No. 1 goalie for the Avs.
Varlamov was not at practice Wednesday after a recurrence of his groin injury. It seems Varlamov can't shake this ailment, with his availability against the Ducks on Thursday suddenly up in the air. While the 28-year-old has not been ruled out, it seems more likely than not that Calvin Pickard will get the start versus Anaheim. As of now, Colorado have not brought in a third netminder, so it is possible Varlamov is at least healthy enough to serve as the backup.
Varlamov stopped just 21 of the 26 shots he faced in Tuesday's 6-4 loss against the Blackhawks. Varlamov has been absolutely awful this season, and a lack of offensive support wasn't to blame in this one. The goaltender has been a sieve, and he should only be trusted in the deepest of fantasy leagues if you're absolutely desperate. Colorado has won just five times in their past 27 on home ice, and there is very little sign to suggest things will be turning around very soon for the Avalanche and their top netminder.
Varlamov will be between the sticks for Tuesday's meeting with Chicago. Since returning from a seven-game injury absence, Varlamov has dropped two in a row, allowing a trio of goals in each of those defeats. The netminder will get a chance to right the ship on Tuesday versus a Hawks squad that is 10-9-1 on the road and has just five wins in their last 10 outings.
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