Head coach Patrick Roy announced Friday morning that Varlamov would start in the night’s game against the Dallas Stars, with backup goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere instead getting the nod Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens.
“Why wait?" asked Roy."We're all aware of what happened, but we just feel that he's our guy. We have confidence in him and feel that it's good for him to play tonight."
Varlamov is being accused by his girlfriend Evgeniya Vavrinyuk of returning from a night of heavy drinking and both kicking her in the chest and dragging her by her hair (amongst other transgressions).
"He has no concept of when to stop drinking, and when he drinks he turns into an animal," said Vavrinyuk through an interpreter.
“The players have to support him as well, hockey-wise,” said Roy. “The players need to play a good game in front of him, just like we've done since the start of the season. None of us are making any judgment until this (legal) process is going to be over."
The game will mark the first in an Avalanche uniform for the newly-acquired Maxime Talbot; who was acquired Thursday from the Philadelphia Flyers. It will also mark the first game in an Avalanche uniform for Nick Holden; who will temporarily abandon his normal position as a defenseman, instead playing left wing on the team’s fourth line.