Through the first few games of the season, some were panicking about Ilya Sorokin and the New York Islanders. In his first two games, Ilya gave up a combined 10 goals against for an .852 save percentage.
It was bad, there was no denying that but at the same time, it wasn’t all on him. The defensive structure around Ilya Sorokin wasn’t up to par which led to numerous high danger attempts against him.
Since those first two rough starts, Ilya Sorokin has allowed more than two goals in a game just once and has six goals allowed over his last five games. It’s safe to say that he looks significantly better now.
Even after his rough start, the numbers on the entire season are pretty solid at a .931 save percentage and a 2.26 goals against average. Also, the goals saved above average is now up to fourth in the NHL.
At +6.2 he trails only Frederik Andersen, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Jacob Markstrom. That’s some pretty good company for Sorokin to share. Last season, Sorokin on the season had a 5.9 goals saved above average. The best part of all of this is that Sorokin’s playing at a high level and the Isles are also getting Semyon Varlamov back.
Last year, Varlamov finished fifth in Vezina voting with a .929 save percentage 2.04 goals against average, and a league-leading seven shutouts to his name. He absolutely could pick up right where he left off which would give the Isles the best tandem in the league.
Keeping both of these guys fresh is essential for their success. The team relies on good goalie play and it’s no surprise that when Sorokin turned his season around that the Isles started a five-game point streak.