The game is already in the giant void of meaninglessness, where all preseason professional sports contests go. But for players eager to make a good first impression on skittish, scared Avalanche fans — players such as new goalie Semyon Varlamov — perhaps Wednesday's game had some meaning.

Don't tell Avalanche management these games mean nothing, either — not after investing so much capital in obtaining Varlamov from Washington this summer to be the answer in net.

Symbolically, the Avs are off to a bad start after their abysmal showing of 2010-11, in falling to 1-3 in the preseason after a 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at the Pepsi Center.

At least there is plenty of time to get off to a tangibly good start.

But Varlamov and the Avs are going to have to be a whole lot better than they appeared Wednesday if that's going to happen.