After Robin Lehner left the Islanders following an electric year last season, a hole was left for the Islanders. Dreams of Ilya Sorokin coming over for this season were bleak, however, Lou Lamoriello knows a thing or two about getting goalies for teams that need them. The Isles big goaltender acquisition was signing former Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, and what an acquisition it was.
Islanders fans are familiar with Varlamov, as he spent the start of his career back-stopping the Washington Capitals. Many questions were asked when the signing was made, specifically the term and hefty price tag that came with him. A personal connection was built with Lehner, and many Islanders fans longed to reminisce in the days of last season. However, the NHL is always moving forward, and all fans looked forward to Varlamov’s first start with his new team.
Varlamov’s first couple of games with the Islanders weren’t all sunshine and roses. Alerts were raised following his first appearance, as his lackluster play struck fear into the hearts of all fans. Luckily, his game would round into form as he was a large contributor to the Islanders historic streak they went on. Now, he is posting stats miles ahead of last year, having a comeback that the Islanders desperately needed if they wanted to continue their success from the 2018-19 NHL season.
With Varlamov playing excellent hockey, the Islanders have formed one of the National Hockey Leagues’ most dynamic goaltending duos. Both goaltenders are averaging starting goaltender level stats, and both are sharing the workload of the grinding season. The future of the NHL is a tandem and the Islanders have mastered this over the last two seasons.
The New York Islanders are in a footrace for first place with the Washington Capitals and having Semyon Varlamov act as a fantastic 1b to Thomas Greiss gives fans, players, and management reassurance knowing that quality goaltending should be expected every night the Islanders take the ice across North America.
Plus, remember that Sorokin guy I mentioned earlier? Well, because of Varlamov, he could be on his way over to the Island too.