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Editorials

Islanders Weekly Winners and Losers – Semyon Varlamov is both

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 30: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal at 1:18 of the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Barclays Center on November 30, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 30: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal at 1:18 of the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Barclays Center on November 30, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 30: Adam Pelech #3 and Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders celebrate a 2-0 shut-out against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Barclays Center on November 30, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 30: Adam Pelech #3 and Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders celebrate a 2-0 shut-out against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Barclays Center on November 30, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Winners

Mathew Barzal – 1 goal, 1 assist

Mathew Barzal continues to be the Islanders best player on the ice. With a goal and an assist, he leads the team in production over the past week with two points. That’s how poor the week was for the Islanders. Their leading scorer has two points.

Both of Barzal’s points came against the Blue Jackets. The assist was on a pretty tic-tac-toe play between Barzal, Josh Bailey, and Anders Lee. His goal, his tenth of the season, came off a nice give and go between him and Adam Pelech.

It’s the exact type of game the Islanders needed from their top producer after his lackluster effort against the Kings.

Anders Lee – 1 goal

He finally scored. After an eleven game goalless streak, Anders Lee is back amongst the goals. That’s enough to get him a spot amongst the winners.

Think about all of the winning the Islanders have done this season. Now imagine if Lee was at his usual 30-40 goal pace?

The Islanders needed to get Anders Lee going. They were relying too much on essentially four players putting up goals: Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, and Derick Brassard. They need their captain and former 40 goal scorer Anders Lee to hit his stride to give the team another source for goals.

Semyon Varlamov – 1.00SV% against CBJ

He wasn’t supposed to play. Varlamov had just been in nets versus the Kings in LA, it was Greiss’s turn to get a start. But just about three-quarters of the way through the first period Thomas Greiss pulled himself out of the game.

We were told Greiss was dizzy and that he’s fine now, but the signs on the bench were worrisome. The Isles athletic training taking Greiss’s pulse and the goalie hucking back water like it was going out of style.

Off came Greiss and in stepped Varlamov, still thinking about his first period popcorn. He had about 30 seconds to warm up before the puck was dropped.

Varlamov would stop all 30 shots he faced to preserve the clean sheet and to get the win. Even though he played just under 46 minutes, Thomas Greiss will get credit for the win on the game sheet, but we all know it’s Varlamov’s win.

After the clunker of a performance in LA, Varlamov needed this. Not only for himself but to prove to Barry Trotz his playing time shouldn’t be affected.

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