Ever since the Colorado Avalanche shut goaltender Semyon Varlamov down for the remainder of last season, the front office has reaffirmed its dedication to the now 29-year-old in several different ways. The hiring of goaltending coach Jussi Parkkila, who Varlamov is already familiar with, was one of those affirmations — and a major reason that Varlamov is enthusiastic about the upcoming season.

“Jussi, we worked in the past, back in the KHL. We had success there,” an excited Varlamov said. “Jussi is a very experienced goalie coach, very prepared. He is always prepared for the practice, for the game. That’s what we need for the goalies. We need to know when we step on the ice that the goalie coach, he knows what he’s doing. He is also a good teacher.”

By January 17th, the last game Varlamov played before being shut down for the season, he had posted some of the worst statistics of his career, including an .898 save percentage, the only time he has ever been below a .900.

In their short time together, Parkkila has already made alterations to Varlamov’s technique in an attempt to resurrect his career — and make last year’s debacle a distant memory.

“(I have made) some adjustments; we are still working on it,” Varlamov stated. “We just started working with Jussi a couple weeks ago, so it takes time.”

Varlamov also wanted to avoid playing favorites and express his gratitude for the work he and former Avalanche goaltending coach Francois Allaire did together, saying, “I want to say thank you to Francois; he did a tremendous job for me in the past four years. We worked together as a team, we had success — and I really like him — so I wish him good luck in the future.”

Allaire, one of the most revered goaltending coaches of all-time, played mostly of a part-time role with the Avs last season. Now that Allaire has moved on, Parkkila was brought in to be more of a full-time coach, and he’s already earned a good reputation with coach Jared Bednar.

“He’s an interesting character,” Bednar said. “He’s energetic and he wants to coach and he wants to help.”

“He’s anxious to help those guys improve every day; he’s a hardworking guy. It’s really good for those guys to have someone here full-time.”

Parkkila’s coaching techniques have already made an impression on newcomer Jonathan Bernier, as well — who worked with Parkkila for the first time on Friday at training camp.

“He seems to have a lot of tools and he wants to give [them] to you and [let] you choose to use [them] or not,” said Bernier. “He seems like he already knows my game from watching a few practices. I think we are going to have a good season.”

The 2016-17 campaign was the worst showing the Avalanche have seen from their goaltenders since the Craig Anderson-Peter Budaj tandem. Parkkila was handpicked by the Avalanche management to have a hands-on approach and to make a difference. Through Varlamov’s excitement and the praise from both Bernier and coach Bednar, Parkkila has already made his presence felt, and the difference he has made has been extremely positive — the Avalanche now hope that it’ll be reflected in the standings.