Yesterday was not Semyon Varlamov‘s best game for the New York Islanders. The veteran goalie had five pucks go by him in a 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. While he wasn’t at fault for all of them, he was certainly to blame on at least one or two goals.
Add a questionable goal to open Game 2 and Varly hasn’t been a Vezina level keeper in this series.
Backup Ilya Sorokin on the other hand, had a strong Game 1 stopping 39 of the 42 shots he faced. There was already a growing number of fans calling for Sorokin to start Game 2 and 3 over Varlamov. The veteran’s performance yesterday all but galvanized that opinion.
The way that Barry Trotz spoke both immediately after the Game 3 loss and on the following day seemed to indicate that a change could be made in the crease.
Ilya Sorokin could be in nets for the New York Islanders in Game 4
If you watched MSG’s post-game show after the 5-4 loss you likely saw Barry Trotz’s post-game presser. There he was asked if he got enough from his goalie on the night, his answer wasn’t, let’s say, encouraging for Varlamov:
"“I’ll have to look at it. Sometimes your first reaction might not favorable. But we’ll look at all of the chances and the goals and see what we could have done.”"
That alone won’t reveal what Barry plans on doing for Game 4. Sure, he pushed on the question. But he didn’t come out and pull his goalie out of the fire so to speak.
But now that Trotz and his team have had time to look at all the chances and goals he wasn’t any more committed to keeping Varlamov between the pipes on Saturday.
Again, Varlamov’s performance wasn’t any good yesterday and I’d be surprised if after looking at the tape Barry felt his goalie had a good game. Was it bad enough to make a switch? We’ll have to wait until Saturday to know for sure, but it certainly doesn’t seem good for Varlamov.
I’m with Compton here, I’m not convinced Sorokin starts, but the evidence is starting to point to a switch. So don’t be surprised if Sorokin is in there for Game 4.