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Islanders give nod that Semyon Varlamov is back

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 25: Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders makes the save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in Game Seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Amalie Arena on June 25, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 25: Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders makes the save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in Game Seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Amalie Arena on June 25, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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Ilya Sorokin has done an incredible job holding down the New York Islanders crease since the start of the season. It didn’t start off well for Sorokin, but with back-to-back shutouts on back-to-back nights, he was rightfully named one of the NHL’s three stars of the week.

Goalies don’t typically start back-to-back games, but with Cory Schneider as the backup, Barry Trotz went to the sophomore NHL’er for the second game in two nights. That situation might change when the Islanders are back in action on Saturday. Semyon Varlamov could be back.

New York Islanders signal Semyon Varlamov is ready to return

On Monday, the New York Islanders sent Cory Schneider to waivers. There’s no other reason to do that other than to make room to bring Semyon Varlamov back in. Remember, Varlamov is at the time of writing – on IR. The Isles don’t play until Saturday in Nashville, giving Varly (who’s been practicing with the team) more time to get back to 100%.

Varly has already missed five games to start the year, but this seems like he won’t be missing much more. Which is a huge boost for the Islanders who didn’t have the luxury of an NHL-caliber backup.

That’s not just me saying so, Barry Trotz clearly feels the same way. Trotz has had the opportunity to play Cory Schneider over the past two seasons and opted not to, clearly, the veteran coach doesn’t feel Schneider gives his team a chance to win.

With Varlamov, not only do the Islanders level up from having one NHL-caliber starter to two. And arguably the best goalie tandem in the entire NHL.

The Islanders don’t need to rush Varlamov back between the pipes, Sorokin hasn’t allowed a goal against since Patrik Laine’s OT winner on Thursday. Again, he’s the NHL’s third star of the week for a reason.

But having Varlamov back on the team gives the Islanders their 1A-1B tandem back and the chance to rest their goalies when a need arises (they play back-to-back on November 6).

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