Islanders: Ilya Sorokin gets surprise back-to-back starts

Minnesota Wild v New York Islanders
Minnesota Wild v New York Islanders / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

Goalies don't often start back-to-back games, it's a grueling effort to play a full 60 minutes. Doing it twice in two nights is something to be avoided. But tonight in Calgary, the New York Islanders are starting Ilya Sorokin in back-to-back nights.

Now that happens sometimes. Usually, it's when the team can't trust the backup or second-string goalie. Like when Cory Schneider was the backup for the Isles. That's not the case with Semyon Varlamov who was supposed to start the game in Calgary.

New York Islanders Sorkin gets surprise back-to-back start

Varlamov lead the team out on the ice for the pre-game skate in Calgary, which is usually a clear indicator of who's starting between the pipes for that night. But when it came to puck drop Varlamov wasn't on the ice. Or even on the bench. Ilya Sorokin was the one stretching between the iron.

The Islanders still trust Varlamov so this isn't an issue of the Isle simply opting to play Sorokin over Varlamov. Again, Varly wasn't even on the bench to start the game.

At the time of writing, there was no indication as to why Varlamov wasn't in the net for the Islanders. Or even on the bench. His absence seems to indicate that he may have picked up a last-minute injury or come down with a last-minute illness.

Varly doesn't have the best record at 3-9-1 on the year but his goaltending stats are a bit better with a 0.916SV% and 2.57GAA. It's clear that the net belongs to Ilya Sorokin (as was the plan) but Varlamov has still been a capable shot-stopper.

We still have to wait and see what's going on with Varlamov. Hopefully, it's nothing serious and he can be back in the net soon. Because the Islanders need a strong goaltending tandem to make that push up the standings with the number of games left on the schedule.

UPDATE: Islanders announced that Semyon Varlmov was placed in COVID protocol.