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New York Islanders

Semyon Varlamov: ‘I Feel Like I’m 100 Percent and I Can Play This week’



New York Islanders, Semyon Varlamov

Semyon Varlamov didn’t mince his words when he addressed reporters for the first time this season at Northwell Health Ice Center.

Asked how Varlamov was feeling after missing all of training camp and the first six games of the season, his answer was straightforward. “I’m feeling great right now, I’m ready to go and ready to play a game,” he responded.

The New York Islanders have been secretive about what had kept Varlamov out for so long. The goaltender directed the question to head coach Barry Trotz and Trotz just wouldn’t say what it was. Varlamov did concede that it had been related to an injury he had been dealing with in the spring.

“I didn’t expect that it was going to take so long to recover from last year,” Varlamov said. “Had some issues I had to address this summer. I didn’t expect that, but I’m glad everything is behind me right now and that I’m feeling good, and ready to play.

This year had been the first time in Varlamov’s career in the NHL that he’s had to miss an entire training camp. Varlamov had been around the team and has been traveling with the Islanders through the first two weeks of the season, even though he has not been playing.

Ilya Sorokin has stepped into the No. 1 starter spot for the Islanders during Varlamov’s absence and, after a rocky start, helped backstop the Islanders to a 3-0-1 record over their last four games. Sorokin’s success has certainly raised the question of what the Islanders will do now that both their goaltenders are healthy again.

The Islanders only have two games during this current 10-day span and don’t play again until Saturday afternoon in Nashville. Trotz has been coy about who he would use in net coming up, saying the “starting point for Varly, no matter when we put him in, will be his starting point.”

The Islanders coach suggested that Varlamov could play as soon as Saturday in Nashville or they could wait until next week to get him into a game. For his part, Semyon Varlamov believes he’s ready to go now.

“I feel like I’m 100 percent and I can play this week,” he said.

Whether he will or not remains the question.