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Islanders: Ilya Sorokin’s Early Season Struggles

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 16: Goaltender Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders prepares for the start of the game against the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena on October 16, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 16: Goaltender Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders prepares for the start of the game against the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena on October 16, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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Whether it’s at some point this year, next year, or at the latest the following year, the New York Islanders are going to be Ilya Sorokin’s team. Yes, at the moment Semyon Varlamov is the better of the two goalies but he is not a long-term answer.

He’s 33 years old with this year and next year remaining on his contract. By the time his deal expires he’ll be 35 and there’s a chance that he doesn’t even finish out his contract with the Isles but that’s a story for another day.

Due to his injury at the start of the season, the Islanders have leaned on Ilya Sorokin. He started the first two games of the year and it hasn’t gone very well. He’s 0-2 with an .855 save percentage and a 5.09 goals against average.

Obviously, nobody expects that to continue for the entirety of the season but it would be a disservice to call his first two games anything other than disappointing. All of the 10 goals that have gone in haven’t been his fault but looking at goals saved above average usually gives you a pretty good idea for how a goalie is playing and it’s not great.

According to Natural Stat Trick, Sorokin currently has a -4.80 GSAA which is the second-worst in the NHL. It’s been bad, but looking at the company that Sorokn is with, I would say it’s probably not time to panic:

  1. Marc-Andre Fleury -5.42
  2. Ilya Sorokin -4.80
  3. Carter Hutton -3.38
  4. Andrei Vasilevskiy -2.62
  5. Philipp Grubauer -2.21
  6. Robin Lehner -1.87
  7. Casey DeSmith -1.86
  8. Jonathan Quick -1.01
  9. Adin Hill -0.89
  10. Darcy Kuemper -0.83

All Data via Natural Stat Trick

Related Story. Isles slow start is nothing new

Last season, Sorokin started slow out of the gate as his first three games he went 0-2-1 with an .871 save percentage. Over his final 19, he went 13-4-2 with a .927 save percentage and three shutouts. It’s not even close to panic time with this kid.

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