Islanders: Evaluating Semyon Varlamov’s Performance
By Matt O'Leary
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.