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With day three of training camp wrapped up, the Colorado Avalanche saw their battle for the starting goaltender job tighten every so slightly. After two days of dominance from the netminders as a group, there was a bit more give today as the shooters got a few back in their favor.
The big German had kind of an interesting day today. As the team in front of him focused on installing systems, he did well in stopping the majority of the pucks that came his way. There was nowhere near the traffic in front of the net and the volume of shots faced was down drastically so the workload was significantly smaller than the previous two days.
To be honest, there were times today when Grubauer simply looked bored. He was showing off classic goaltender behavior in fidgeting constantly, looking at the ice like the answers to the universe were etched in his crease, and working on his angles while he had down time. At one point, Grubauer signaled to the other end of the ice to Spencer Martin and they swapped nets. Once down there, Grubauer signaled over to Joe Cannata, who was sitting on the bench, and told him to get in the net. Then Grubauer took up position on the bench for the rest of the morning session.
It was by far the lightest load Grubauer has faced so far and it was about as easy a day as I’ve ever seen a goalie have in training camp. At least he’s staying healthy!
Varlamov was subjected to the same drills in the second session of the morning, meaning his workload was just as light. The big differences were Varlamov seemed to not take the session that seriously as he barely reacted to most of the shots fired at him. It was general apathy for most of the session until one particular interaction seemed to flip the switch.
Varlamov stopped a puck, held on to it and that seemed to be the end of it until Cody Bass got his stick into Varlamov’s mid-section. Like all goaltenders, that’s a good way to get on his bad side and Varly responded predictably with a violent hack at the intruding stick. Bass seemed to think it as funny, as wily veterans typically do, but Varly seemed to turn everything up several notches in response. He locked in the rest of the session, looking much more like the goaltender from the previous two days who loathed allowing pucks behind him.
Today’s winner: Push
While Grubauer played better, he also spent a significant portion of his session sitting around watching. Compare that to Varlamov playing his entire session but not playing particularly well and how do you pick a winner from two bad options? I’m going to call it even today as neither guy separated and the workload was very light compared to previous days.
Camp count: Varlamov 2-0-1