The start of the 2021-22 season was shaky at best for Ilya Sorokin. In his first two starts, the New York Islanders keeper allowed ten goals against for a 0.855SV%. That start had a number of fans worried, or at the very least hoping that Semyon Varlamov would return soon.
But look, we’ve all been there before with Ilya Sorokin. His start to the 2020-21 season was pretty bad as well. He allowed seven goals in two games for a 0.875SV%. And as you know what, Sorokin bounced back from that poor start. Finishing the 2020-21 season with a strong 0.918SV% and 2.17GAA.
Fans should have learned from his play last year that you shouldn’t doubt Sorokin’s quality. Specifically after his first two games.
New York Islanders Ilya Sorokin proves doubters wrong again
The doubters took another hit this year as the Islanders headed into back-to-back games against the Arizona Coyotes and Vegas Golden Knights. In both games, Sorokin stopped all 68 shots he faced to get the double shutout in back-to-back nights.
The advanced numbers show that Sorokin faced 19 high danger chances and was expected to allow 5.74 goals against (in all strengths). And again, allowed none. (Thank you for NaturalStatTrick for that.)
It was the Ilya Sorokin show over the weekend for the New York Islanders.
The Russian goalie again reminded doubters that he’s a top-quality goalie in this league and that those numbers we saw over in Russia were no fluke.
Of course, the defensive core in front of him is starting to play a lot better. Just look at the average shot difference from the first two games (36.55 and 33.83 feet) to the last two games (39.08 and 37.21 feet).
But Sorokin is clearly playing his part in this system. When the d-structure breaks down he’s been there with a save.
Look, the first two games were poor. But since those two games, he’s posted a 3-0-1 record, a 0.971SV%, a 1.00GAA, and stopped 5.93 xGA at 5on5.
Doubters are left having to take a step back and recognize that the early season form from Sorokin was an anomaly not just because of the last two games, but since the first two.