Islanders News Roundup: Varlamov ready to return, Nashville outlook

Semyon Varlamov, New York Islanders
Feb 15, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) deflects a shot during the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders have an extensive break to rest their bodies and prepare for the remainder of the 2022 season. However, they are still getting back a few players from injury, including goaltender Semien Varlamov.

Varlamov, whose injury designation is unknown, played in 36 games last year with the Islanders, allowing 72 goals on 120 shots against.

“I’m feeling great right now,” Varlamov said after practice, per the NY Post. “I’m ready, ready to go. Ready to play a game.”

Varlamov has a rather solid health history, so missing camp this year was quite a surprise for the veteran goalie.

“First time in my NHL career I missed the entire camp, it never happened to me before,” Varlamov said. “But things happen. Of course it wasn’t a perfect situation for me.”

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz indicated that Varlamov could play immediately, despite fears of being rusty.

“The starting point for Varly, no matter when you put him in, will be his starting point,” Trotz said. “He’s not gonna be any more rusty than he would be now. So he could go in in Nashville [on Saturday] or he could go in in Montreal [on Thursday] or we could wait until next week. We’ll make a decision on where he is with our goaltending coaches and myself tomorrow.”

Islanders head south to take on a tough Predators team:

The Islanders a preparing to take on the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 PM. The Predators sit at 3–4 on the season, winning their last two games against the Wild and Sharks.

Roman Josi leads the Nashville team with nine points, including three goals and six assists. For the Islanders, Oliver Wahlstrom and Matthew Barzal have a combined six goals but haven’t logged an assist. Josh Bailey leads in assists with three.

With the Islanders finishing the last two games on a strong note, scoring five goals and allowing zero, they should be in for a solid competition as they travel to Nashville.