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Islanders Sending Ilya Sorokin To Taxi Squad Was A Mistake

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 24: Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders sticks aside a first period shot against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 24, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 24: Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders sticks aside a first period shot against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 24, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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For the second night in a row a questionable lineup decision came back to haunt the New York Islanders. Before the game, the team elected to send Sorokin to the taxi squad so that both Kieffer Bellows and Oliver Wahlstrom could play.

Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled that both Bellows and Wahlstrom were going to be in the lineup but the reasoning behind sending Sorokin to the taxi squad doesn’t make any sense.

The Isles have three goalies on the roster with Semyon Varlamov, Ilya Sorokin, and Cory Schneider. Of the three Sorokin is the only one who is waiver exempt so they elected to move Sorokin down. They didn’t have to.

Leo Komarov, Ross Johnston, or Michael Dal Colle all could’ve passed through waivers. Nobody is picking them up and even under the slightest of chances that end up happening, are we crying about losing any of them?

Instead, in what seemed like a snap decision, they elected to move their backup goalie out of the way to make space for Oliver Wahlstrom. This became problematic when the Islanders had the second period from hell and Semyon Varlamov began letting in soft goals.

After having a 3-0 lead, that lead quickly evaporated. In fact, Washington would grab five goals in the period from the Isles to go up 5-3 but it didn’t have to go down like that. After it was tied up at three, Butch Goring commented on the broadcast saying maybe Barry Trotz could pull Varlamov.

Well, he didn’t, and it’s likely a fair guess that he didn’t because their backup goalie for the night, Cory Schneider, hasn’t played an NHL game since March of 2020.

You’d have to imagine that under normal circumstances, Barry goes to the backup after it gets tied. Instead, he rode it out with Varlamov and the wheels completely came off.

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I’d like to express once again, because sometimes there’s confusion, I am happy that both Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz are here, they are generally good at their jobs but when they do something wrong, we should call them on it. The last two games is as much on the lineup decisions and roster construction as it is on the guys on the ice.

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