Islanders: Semyon Varlamov Expectations For 2021-2022
By Matt O'Leary
In his second season with the New York Islanders, Semyon Varlamov was fantastic. He was second in the league in save percentage and fourth in goals against average of qualifying goalies during the 2021 season.
For good measure, Varlamov also was the league leader in shutouts with seven. You really can’t ask for too much more as his performance resulted in finishing fifth in the Vezina conversation.
He’s been everything the Islanders wanted him to be and more since signing here before the 2019-2020 season.
It was a career year for Varlamov, as one would expect working under the guidance of Barry Trotz, Mitch Korn, and Piero Greco so there’s no reason to believe that Varlamov won’t be able to continue his production heading into year three with the Islanders.
During the regular season, Varlamov started 63% of games which was up from 57% the year prior. In the playoffs, Semyon Varlamov started off shaky. He only got two starts in the first series against Pittsburgh and played to a .903 save percentage. The five goals against performance in Game 3 got him benched.
In his return against Boston, he was excellent. In five starts he went 4-1 with a .934 save percentage and allowed two goals or less in three of the five starts. His performance against Tampa was a little more streaky. He had four games above a .920 and then had two sub .900 performances.
Overall, I think you’d sign up for a .922 save percentage and a 2.56 goals against average in the playoffs.
Semyon Varlamov 2021-2022 expectations
Heading into the season, Semyon Varlamov will likely be the 1A in the Islanders goalie duo. Both he and Ilya Sorokin are capable starters but we will likely see a touch more of Varly than Sorokin at least to start the year.
I have Varly at roughly 56% of the starts, so let’s call it 46 games with a .921 save percentage and a 2.37 goals against average.
Both his save percentage and goals against average will be in the top-10 but he won’t receive the Vezina recognition due to number of games played and wins as a result of that.
Goalies are the least of the Islanders concerns heading into the season. Barry Trotz should be able to close his eyes, pick a name out of a hat, and feel confident that whoever is between the pipes is going to give them in the ballpark of a .920 save percentage on most nights.