3 NY Islanders still feeling the effects of Lane Lambert's tenure

The fatigue is starting to set in on the Isles' blue line.

Apr 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) and
Apr 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) and / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Ilya Sorkin

The Islanders had many problems surrounding their 2022-23 roster. Their offense was subpar even after trading for Bo Horvat during the all-star break. Their powerplay was anemic, ranking 28th in the NHL for success rate. Aside from Brock Nelson, nobody had a career season heading into the playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes.

However, the one saving grace for this Islanders team was the heroics of Ilya Sorokin. In 60 games started in net, Sorokin had 1,698 saves in 1,838 attempts. This resulted in a .924 save percentage and a league-leading 6 shutouts. Given this performance, Lambert desperately played Sorokin in the final 13 games of the season to ensure a playoff clincher. Furthermore, the 27-year-old netminder played all six games against the Hurricanes in round one.

It has been clear all season that Sorokin is feeling the effects of playing all those games in a row. While the fans were relieved to see the Islanders in the playoffs, we all question the decision from Lambert to essentially bench Semyon Varlamov. The 35-year-old goaltender did lead the team to the Eastern Conference Finals twice in back-to-back seasons. As a result, Sorokin has not replicated the same Vezina Trophy finalist numbers he posted in 2022-23. Subsequently, the Isles are not in a playoff spot in late March.