Relationship with the goaltenders
Ilya Sorokin has appeared in 13 straight games due to the injury of Semyon Varlamov. He's likely to play in his 14th straight tonight versus Dallas, but something is going to have to give if Varlamov is not ready to come back after the All-Star break. The Islanders have four games left before the break, and there are no back-to-backs, meaning it's plausible that Sorokin will remain in the net between now and their final game on Jan. 27. The team won't play again until Feb 5th, giving him time to rest.
While the thought of one of hockey's greatest goaltenders mentoring Sorokin is intriguing and exciting, don't expect Roy to be overly involved in the technical aspects of goaltending. "I don't really interfere in the teaching of goaltender, said Roy. "There's one voice, and that's our goalie coach [Piero Greco], and talking to Lou, he's extremely pleased with the work of our goalie coach; both goalies really love that person."
That doesn't mean he won't lend support to the goalies, but it will be grounded in sharing experiences from his Hall-of-Fame career, one that included four Stanley Cups and three Conn Smythe Trophies. "I can help them on the mental side of the game, said Roy. "What I do if I had a bad night, what I would do if I was on a streak, before a big game, how I would approach [things]."
Varlamov had his best NHL season with Roy as his head coach. He finished second in the Vezina Trophy voting after going 41-14-6 with a sparkling 2.41 GAA and .927 save percentage. “I was really enjoying working with Patrick,” Varly said in 2016. “That was a big deal for me to have him as a head coach. He’s been very helpful."
With Sorokin and Varlamov locked in as the goalie tandem for the next three seasons after this, the positive impact Roy can make on what is already the team's strength will be something to watch.