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Islanders Semyon Varlamov blanks Rangers for playoff berth


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For the fourth time this season Semyon Varlamov has a shutout for the New York Islanders against the New York Rangers. It’s his seventh shutout of the season now. He may not have been on the ballot for the Vezina at the start of the season, but it’s impossible to ignore him now.

His effort not only pad his stats which sit at 0.931SV% and 1.99GAA on the year, but his team now has earned a spot in the playoffs for the third straight season now. Something that the Isles haven’t been able to do for almost 20 years now.

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I wouldn't say I am a "closet Islander fan", but due to my investment in the team for fantasy hockey, I have watched more Isles games this year than I have in seasons past.

Varlamov and Sorokin are probably the best 1a-1b tandem in the league....supported of course, by Barry Trotz ultra tight defense first team structure.

As we've seen from his Avalanche days, Varly has the ability to absolutely steal games, although playing behind this Isles team, I would imagine his stress levels aren't as high as the "What? We have to play DEFENSE??" Avs teams he was on previously.

Of course, Varlamov is subject to some really bad days, and he is one of those guys that when he is going good, he is almost unbeatable, but when he craps the bed, he REALLY craps the bed....no in between for him it seems.
Fortunately for him and Isles fans, he usually is of the former variety.

As for why the Avs let him walk, I believe it was mostly because of health concerns (he did seem oft injured with Colorado) and price tag.
Though the health part has been kept under control in New York.

Then again, because the Isles keep his stress levels low, he doesn't have to do 50 splits a night and 65 head stands like he did with the Avs, thus making things easier on his body.
But yea, Colorado has yet to prove that they truly have replaced Varly.

If the NYI play their style of game and either Varlamov or Sorokin play to their best, NY will be a tough draw and tough to score against for anybody.
Biggest issue for the Islanders will be, can THEY score enough to win playoff games........or will they be classic case of playing well in goal but falling short due to not being able to score a goal when they need it.

They will get either Washington or Pittsburgh in the playoffs.
Pens should provide a nice contrast to the Islanders, but the Capitals can play a tight brand of defense as well when they want to, plus they can score, probably why they've given the Islanders fits this season.

NY will need Sorokin and especially Varlamov to be at their best for the post season.

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