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Islanders: Return of Semyon Varlamov off IR is big boost

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 21: Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders is replaced by Ilya Sorokin #30 during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on June 21, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 21: Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders is replaced by Ilya Sorokin #30 during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on June 21, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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Yesterday the New York Islanders placed goalie Cory Schneider on waivers. Without a team laying claim on the veteran goalie, the Islanders sent him to the minors. Meaning there was a post on the roster.

That spot has now been filled. According to CapFriendly, the Islanders have taken the IR tag off of Semyon Varlamov and moved him to the NHL roster. There are still a few days left on the Islanders break, but it seems we can, at the very least, expect to see Varlamov on the bench for Saturday’s game in Nashville.

New York Islanders Semyon Varlamov is back

With Varlamov back, the Islanders can return to their regularly scheduled programming in the crease. And that means sharing the load between both Russian goalies.

There might be some “ride-the-hot-hand” type of situation with whoever is performing well. Maybe an extra game here or there, but on the whole, the crease was to be shared between Varlamov and Sorokin.

And remember, that duo was the best in the NHL through the 2020-21 season. The two gave the Islanders a 0.920SV% and nearly won the team another Ted Jennings trophy with 125 goals-against (second lowest in the NHL last year).

Not to mention that Varlamov had a career year with a 0.929SV%, 2.04GAA, and seven shutouts (which got him a few Vezina votes) in 2020-21.

Getting that duo back together is a big win and a huge boost for the New York Islanders who have seemingly figured out how to play their game again.

Schneider?

With all due respect to Cory Schneider, he was there as injury back-up, just in case Sorokin got hurt while Varlamov rehabbed. He wasn’t around to start a game to give Sorokin a break, but to act as an emergency backup.

He’ll now go to Bridgeport where he might get a few games between Jakub Skarek and Ken Appleby. Which is a win for Bridgeport who could use the career 0.918SV% goalie to boost their attempts to have us all forget they were a 0.375 win% in 2020-21.

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