NY Islanders look to ride Semyon Varlamov into the playoffs tonight in New Jersey

Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders
Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New York Islanders don't have a No. 1 goalie controversy, but what head coach Patrick Roy does have is options. Ilya Sorokin played well in Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, making 41 saves. The franchise goalie's performance is a great sign moving forward, but not enough for Roy not to go back to the red-hot Semyon Varlamov in a win-and-in scenario tonight in Newark.

"The plan is going with Varly," Roy said after practice. "And then we’ll see after."

Varlamov is most responsible for the Islanders being in the position to clinch a playoff berth tonight against the New Jersey Devils. Since Mar. 10th, the steady Varly has gone 7-1-1 over nine starts with a .928 save percentage. In four April starts, the 35-year-old is 4-0-0 with a sparkling 1.74 GAA and .943 goals against average.

Semyon Varlamov
Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

If the numbers weren't enough, Varlamov has earned Roy's trust, not just through what he has done this year but also through how the veteran played under the Hall-of-Famer when he was the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. Varlamov had his best overall season ten years ago with the Avs during the 2013-14 season, going 41-14-6 and finishing second in Vezina Trophy voting.

“The three years we worked together in Denver, he played so well, and when he gets in the zone when he’s focused like he is right now — Varly wants to win,” Roy said in the New York Post. “When I come to the rink, I don’t ask the question, does Varly want to win tonight? Varly wants to win every time he’s on the ice and every time he’s playing."

Which goaltender plays Wednesday versus Pittsburgh and Game 1 if the Islanders are fortunate enough to secure a playoff spot tonight is a question for a better day, but the team has multiple answers for that question and that's a favorable position to be in.