In yesterday's 2-0 loss to the Washington Capitals, you can count on one hand how many players on the New York Islanders had a positive impact on the team. One of those guys was veteran goalie, Semyon Varlamov.
Varly let up just one goal in the game, coming in the first period on a broken play to Tom Wilson in the slot. There was very little, if anything, that he could do to prevent the goal. It was a defensive lapse from the other players around him that setup such a golden opportunity.
That wasn't always the case for Varlamov this year. In fact, he lost his first seven starts of the year and struggled mightily over that stretch. Let's take a look at the breakdown during the losing streak and compare it to what he's done since.
The Losing Streak
A 0-5-1 start in your first seven games in pretty rough. Especially when you consider that Varlamov, who has been very good since coming to the Islanders, had an .884 save percentage and was allowing 3.14 goals per game.
There's no way you can win, especially this team, with that kind of goalie play. The team was forced to ride Ilya Sorokin who was the much more productive one of the two. Although, Varly has begun to catch up recently thankfully.
The Games Since
In Semyon Varlamov's three starts since, he's been like the Varly of old. He has a 2-1 record with a .973 save percentage and just one goal allowed per game. Talk about a massive turnaround.
His season numbers are now at a respectable .917 save percentage and a 2.59 goals against average. Still, Ilya Sorokin has been the better of the two this year but as we know, this team thrives when they have two goalies that they can trust to get the job done for them on a night in and night out basis.
Now if only they could get back to scoring some goals, then the Islanders might really be on to something in their quest to turn their season around.