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Islanders: Evaluating Semyon Varlamov’s Performance

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MAY 20: Jeff Carter #77 of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores at 7:00 of the third period on the powerplay against Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders in Game Three of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on May 20, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MAY 20: Jeff Carter #77 of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores at 7:00 of the third period on the powerplay against Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders in Game Three of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on May 20, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Yesterday was a tough day at the office for Semyon Varlamov, no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. While that statement is 100% factual, the overreaction from Islanders twitter was downright insane last night.

Saying it was a massive mistake to go back to the goalie with a .930 save percentage and seven shutouts after a .956 save percentage in Game 2 is just downright weird. Like, that’s a having the long-term memory of a fruit fly take.

Of the five goals from last night, how many were on Varly?

The first goal went off of his own defenseman in Ryan Pulock who was screening him. That one can’t be put on him.

The second one, Jeff Carter’s goal to make it 2-1 you can absolutely put on the positioning of Semyon Varlamov.

https://twitter.com/HeresYourReplay/status/1395537194941562882

It was a bad angle and one he should’ve stopped. I think he’d even tell you that when talking about his game from last night.

On goal three, I’m giving him half blame. He didn’t see the puck (clearly) when he probably should have and the other 50% goes to Nick Leddy. I mean Leddy got absolutely body bagged by Jason Zucker on this play.

https://twitter.com/HeresYourReplay/status/1395538898042900490

The fourth goal, I understand it was on the power play but I just don’t know how Varly gave Jeff Carter this much space to work with. He’s got to be closer to the post here because a player like Carter is going to score on that nine times out of 10.

https://twitter.com/HeresYourReplay/status/1395550441728000000

Both things can be true. Cal Clutterbuck shouldn’t have taken a dumb penalty but Varlamov has to stop that puck. He’s a better goalie than that. As for the last one, there’s not much that Varly can do here.

Brandon Tanev got himself in a good spot and the young d-man, Noah Dobson couldn’t get him out of the way.

https://twitter.com/HeresYourReplay/status/1395555991274639360

So in my book, Varly gets the blame for two and a half goals. Which again, is not up to par and I agree that starting Ilya Sorokin would be wise for Game 4 and that’s what I would do, but the overreaction to this game when  Varlamov has been good for the Isles all year and even in Game 2 I frankly don’t understand.

Semyon Varlamov doesn’t suck, Barry Trotz wasn’t wrong for going back to him, he just didn’t play well. It happens, luckily the Islanders have two goalies they trust.

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