Home Sports Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov: I feel ‘100 percent’

Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov: I feel ‘100 percent’

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Semyon Varlamov will soon be back.

The Islanders’ netminder took part in practice on Thursday, then told the media he feels “100 percent,” and can play as soon as he’s called upon.

Whether that will be on Saturday afternoon against the Predators remains unclear — coach Barry Trotz said he would decide the starter on Friday — but all that’s left now is for Varlamov to formally come off injured reserve and onto the active roster.

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

Varlamov, who declined to disclose the nature of his injury, said he picked it up last year during the playoffs. It’s not a serious injury, Trotz said, but a lingering one. The goal was originally to be ready for training camp, but that didn’t happen.

“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.”

Semyon Varlamov
Semyon Varlamov
NHLI via Getty Images

He traveled with the team during the first leg of its season-opening 13-game road trip, skating in practices, but Ilya Sorokin played all six games. After struggling in the first two contests, Sorokin settled in over the next four. He finished the first leg of the road trip with two straight shutouts and a .933 save percentage.

With five days off between games, the Isles don’t need to play their hand on who will start Saturday.

“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.”

For his part, Varlamov wasn’t willing to say there wouldn’t be any rust when he returns.

“I don’t know how I’ll feel in the first game,” Varlamov said. “You never know, right?”

Zach Parise was the lone holdout of practice on Thursday. Trotz said his back stiffened up, but it shouldn’t be anything too serious.

“Hopefully he’ll skate tomorrow and we’ll have a better idea,” Trotz said.

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