Remember how a year ago there was New York Islanders hockey in August? It was weird then and it’s still weird to think about now. But it happened, and it was a year ago today that Semyon Varlamov made Islanders history.
Over essentially a four-game period Varlamov stopped every single puck he saw. His shutout streak ran from the third period in Game 4 of round 1 against the Washington Capitals through the first period of Game 2 of round 2 against the Flyers.
His record stands at 138:17 without allowing a goal.
Semyon Varlamov: New York Islanders record holder
The previous record was held by Hockey Hall of Fame goalie and Islanders legend Billy Smith. His record was 136:59 of shutout hockey in the playoffs. Think about how absurdly long that is. It’s two-plus games without allowing a single goal.
And Varlamov bested it. Barely, but he still went for longer.
During his record shutout streak, Varly stopped some 80+ shots for the Isles as they tossed aside the Washington Capitals in the first round and then took the opening game against the Flyers in the second round.
In that 2019-20 playoff run, Varlamov posted an 11-7 record and averaged an incredible 0.921SV% and 2.14GAA. His performance in that run silenced a number of critics who were essentially still upset that the Isles signed him over Robin Lehner in the 2019 offseason.
And since that run, Varly has been just as good. Sure, there was that wobble against the Penguins in the opening round, but he clearly wasn’t 100% healthy from that injury he picked up at the end of the year. Through 14 games in the 2021 playoffs, Varly went 7-7 with a 0.922SV% and 2.56GAA.
That run a year ago had a number of big moments as the Isles reminded everyone their 2018-19 season wasn’t a fluke, Varly’s shutout streak was one of the more impressive parts of that run.