Semyon Varlamov to COVID protocol and what that means for Islanders

Seattle Kraken v New York Islanders
Seattle Kraken v New York Islanders / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

The New York Islanders might be without the services of goalie Semyon Varlamov for a little while. The Isles veteran goalie was placed in COVID protocol just before puck drop in Calgary.

Now, assuming Varlamov isn't symptomatic (why would he be if he was going to play) Varly could be out for a while. Being in Canada and specifically Alberta, Varlamov is going to have to quarantine for 5 days and then get a letter clearing him to travel (that last part is a US rule).

Which would have him miss at least two games. The away trip to Buffalo on the 15th and the home game against Boston on the 17th. That means Sorokin will carry the torch full-time while Varly is out. Something Sorokin is used to. He did it at the start of the year as Varlamov rehabbed an injury. But who's going to back up Sorokin?

New York Islanders: Varlamov on COVID protocol

At this point, you'd imagine it might be Jakub Skarek. The Islanders prospect was named AHL Goalie of the Month in January. But Skarek hasn't been around for a few games. For reasons...

No one is quite sure why Jakub Skarek hasn't played for the Bridgeport Islanders. A quick speculatory guess is COVID. The AHL and specifically Bridgeport have been cagey with such news throughout the season so it wouldn't be surprising if he's been dealing with COVID.

But again, who's going to back up Sorokin? The option is between Cory Schneider and Ken Appleby. My guess would be that Cory Schneider comes up to the NHL to sit on the bench and that Appleby takes the reigns in the AHL.

Schnieder isn't having a season to write home about at the AHL level. In 16 games played Schneider holds a 5-9-2-0 record while averaging a 0.906SV% and 3.08GAA. Again, nothing to write home about.

Appleby has been in the ECHL most of the year getting games with a 7-9-1 record and averaging a 0.916SV% and a 3.00 GAA. Although at the AHL level, he's 0-2-3 with a 0.924SV% and 2.45GAA.

Again, this would have been the chance to bring in Skarek to at least travel and practice with the NHL squad. He wouldn't get any scheduled game time, nor will Schneider if he's brought up, but with him missing in action the opportunity goes to the vet.