Semyon Varlamov in goal for Russians


Russia’s men’s ice hockey goaltender Semyon Varlamov attends a team practice at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor (RUSSIA – Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

Semyon Varlamov gets the start in goal for the Russian men’s hockey team, which opens its Olympic tournament at 4:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. in Washington) against Slovenia at the Bolshoi Dome. Varlamov, currently of the Colorado Avalanche and formerly of the Washington Capitals, was seen as being on more or less equal footing with Sergei Bobrovski of the Columbus Blue Jackets (and the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner) in terms of being considered as Russia’s top goalie.

Varlamov’s more extensive international experience (2010 Vancouver Olympics, as well as three of the past four World Championships) may have been the difference-maker for Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.

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Dave Sheinin has been covering baseball and writing features and enterprise stories for The Washington Post since 1999.
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Robert Samuels · February 13