After a victory over Dallas Sunday, the Isles get up to speed on a more agressive system implemented by new coach Patrick Roy, NewsdayTV's Andrew Gross reports. Credit: Newsday/Howard Schnapp

Semyon Varlamov loved playing for Patrick Roy the first time. Getting a second chance to do so with the Islanders has the goalie ecstatic.

“I’m not going to lie, I had goose bumps,” Varlamov said. “It’s great that he’s joined the team. I believe he’s a great leader and he’s going to bring a lot of emotions into the locker room and I think that’s what we need right now.”

A healthy Varlamov served as Ilya Sorokin’s backup for Roy’s second game as the Islanders faced defending Stanley Cup-champion Vegas on Tuesday night at UBS Arena. Varlamov was activated off injured reserve on Monday after missing nine games with a lower-body issue and Roy said he expects Varlamov to make his first start since Jan. 2 on Thursday night in Montreal.

An NHL source said Varlamov gave Islanders’ management “a great report” on Roy, who was hired to replace the fired Lane Lambert on Saturday.

Roy, a Hall of Fame goaltender for the Canadiens and Avalanche from 1985-2003, coached Varlamov and the Avalanche from 2013-16.

“I don’t think he changed,” Varlamov said. “Patrick is just being Patrick. He’s a great leader and this team needs great leadership.

“When I worked with him, I always felt like I had a lot of support from him mentally and he always gave us good tips. We always felt like we had two goalie coaches. We really enjoyed working with him.”

Roy won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 2014 following his first season with the Avalanche. But Roy said it should have been Varlamov winning the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie.

Varlamov, now in his fifth season with the Islanders, went 41-14-6 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 2013-14 as he played a career-high 63 games. He finished second in close Vezina balloting to the Bruins’ Tuukka Rask, who was 36-15-6 with a 2.04 GAA and .930 save percentage. Rask garnered 16 first-place votes to Varlamov’s nine.

“As soon as I got the job [with the Avalanche] he came down to Montreal and worked with Francois Allaire for a period of time,” said Roy of the famed goalie coach who mentored him with the Canadiens. “This is where we had our first connection. We had dinner together. I knew he was a big piece of our team and he was phenomenal. He should have won the Vezina that year.”

“Well, that’s an opinion,” Varlamov said. “I didn’t. I wish I did. But we all had a great year. It was very close but Tuukka Rask had an unbelievable year as well and I believe he deserved to win the Vezina Trophy that season.”

That, of course, is the past. Varlamov’s focus is getting back into game action after being sidelined, his last start coming against his former team.

Varlamov exited at 14:52 of the first period in the Islanders’ 5-4 overtime loss in Colorado on Jan. 2 and did not resume skating with his teammates until Sunday. Varlamov spent last week skating on his own on Long Island while the Islanders were completing an 0-3-1 trip that served as the coda to Lambert’s tenure.

“It’s a good feeling,” Varlamov said of being activated and able to play. “I’ve done a lot of rehab in the past few weeks so I’m glad it’s over and I can just focus on my game and focus on practicing with the team. It’s always nice to be back. When you’re doing rehab it just feels like it takes forever. I feel healthy and ready to go.”

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