For the fourth time this season Semyon Varlamov has a shutout for the New York Islanders against the New York Rangers. It’s his seventh shutout of the season now. He may not have been on the ballot for the Vezina at the start of the season, but it’s impossible to ignore him now.
His effort not only pad his stats which sit at 0.931SV% and 1.99GAA on the year, but his team now has earned a spot in the playoffs for the third straight season now. Something that the Isles haven’t been able to do for almost 20 years now.
New York Islanders clinch playoff berth in 2021 playoffs
Oh and that shutout firmly sets Semyon Varlamov with the longest shutout streak in New York Islanders history. His 213:56 shutout streak kills Chico Resch’s previous record of 178:13.
The last time the Islanders made the playoffs in three straight years was the 2003-2004 season. You know, the Yashin, Peca, Blake years when Mike Milbury sold off any young player to bring in a veteran.
It might feel like the Islanders strength is their veteran core, but we forget that they’ve got a lot to youth pulling this team along.
- Oliver Wahlstrom (rookie)
- Ilya Sorokin (rookie)
- Noah Dobson (2nd-year player)
- Anthony Beauvillier (23yo)
- Mathew Barzal (23yo)
So this streak of three straight years in the playoffs feels much different. As in it feels sustainable for a number of years still. The window is still wide open.
The Islanders are now officially in the postseason, but they still have a number of games to play that could help them get home-ice advantage in the opening round. With the win over the Rangers tonight they sit third but only two points behind the Capitals and Penguins at 69 points*. Home ice is very attainable with a strong finish to the season.
*Both teams are still playing at the time of writing.