Despite loss, Barry Trotz sees Semyon Varlamov improving
With the Islanders turning to Ilya Sorokin as their No. 1 goalie, Semyon Varlamov has not had a heavy workload of late.
But coach Barry Trotz said he believes Varlamov is still becoming more consistent after missing all of training camp and the start of the season while recovering from a lower-body injury.
Varlamov stopped 34 shots in Thursday night’s 4-3 loss to the Canucks at UBS Arena.
"We finally gave him more than one goal," Trotz said. "He’s moving better. I feel like he’s catching up to the train a little bit after how much time he’s missed this year and the stops and starts of our season. He’s starting to look like the Varly we all know and love."
Varlamov started for only the second time in 12 games and is a candidate to be moved in advance of the NHL trade deadline on March 21. He has one season remaining on his four-year, $20 million deal, and his $5 million salary-cap hit is a pricey one if he’s going to be Sorokin’s backup.
Matt Martin logged 11:53 without a shot as he was re-inserted on Casey Cizikas’ line with Cal Clutterbuck after being a healthy scratch the previous two games . . . Mathew Barzal (lower body) and defenseman Zdeno Chara (upper body) each missed his third straight game and is day-to-day. It’s unclear whether either is close to skating . . . Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s second-period assist extended his point streak to four games . . . Defenseman Noah Dobson’s 10 goals since Dec. 5 lead all NHL defensemen over that span . . . The Islanders will play 17 games in March — 11 at home — making it the busiest month in franchise history . . . The Islanders did not receive a power play against the Canucks’ penalty kill, which is ranked last in the NHL. Said Trotz, "There was a couple of times I thought there was an opportunity to call it."