The New York Islanders lost Game 2 and pulled their goalie in the process. Here’s why they should go right back to Semyon Varlamov.
Yesterday was a day that Semyon Varlamov would like to forget. After setting the franchise record for the longest streak in the playoffs without allowing a goal for the Islanders, Varly got pulled after 15 minutes and three goals allowed.
On the first goal, Kevin Hayes ripped an absolute beauty of a shot that Varly had no shot on. They got lost in transition and hung Varlamov out to dry. Goal number two, completely different story.
That one was Charmin soft from Varlamov not getting the post, even he would admit that was one he should have had. The last one from Sean Couturier was Couturier putting Nick Leddy in a body bag, again not on Varly.
Barry Trotz decided to go with Greiss after the third goal for a spark and it worked. Greiss was good stopping 20 of 21 shots faced. Now, some are calling for Greiss to get the start in Game 3. To me, that would be a panic move.
Including the poor performance from yesterday, in 11 games, Varlamov has a .932 save percentage and a 1.76 goals against average. Out of 31 periods played, he had one bad one and now you want to give up on him and start Greiss?
I expect Barry Trotz to go back to Varlamov in Game 3 with Greiss ready if need be. This isn’t a knock on Greiss who proved he can handle it. Instead, it’s showing faith in your goalie who has been stellar outside of a 15-minute sample.
In the postgame yesterday, Anders Lee came to Varlamov’s defense saying that they needed to be better for him. They’ve been bailed out by him so many times, they could’ve returned the favor for him in Game 2.
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I look at yesterday as a blip on the radar for Varly. He had a bad start, so what, get back after it today and do what he’s done for 97 percent of the playoffs.