Ilya Sorokin has been phenomenal for the New York Islanders in 2021-2022. There have been few bright spots in this otherwise lost season but Sorokin's play is absolutely one of the few shining moments.
With just six games left on the season, Sorokin is 25-16-8 with a .927 save percentage and a 2.32 goals against average. These numbers are great but there's one thing keeping him out of the Vezina conversation, wins.
Like evaluating a pitcher in Major League Baseball off of wins, doing the same for an NHL goalie is just silly. It doesn't paint the entire picture of just how good, or bad, a goalie is in a season. Wins is a team stat, not an individual stat, so how can it possibly come into play for an individual award?
When looking at how his numbers compare to the rest of the league, here's his rank in some key categories:
Save Percentage: 2nd
Goals Against Average: 4th
Quality Start%: 2nd
Goals Saved Above Average: 2nd
Look, Igor Shesterkin is going to win the Vezina as he should but more often than not, Sorokin's name isn't even in the conversation which is just wrong. When comparing Sorokin to Shesterkin, or even Frederik Andersen, Jacob Markstrom, and Andrei Vasilevskiy the one thing he doesn't have is 35+ wins.
Wins don't take into context the team the goalie is playing for nor does it take into account how many games he's actually played. I could understand not considering someone with let's say fewer than 20 games but someone who is going to finish with 50+ starts isn't going to be seriously considered despite being top four in save percentage, goals against average, shutouts, quality start percentage, and goals saved above average is a little strange to me.
Again, this is not an article saying that he deserves it over Igor Shesterkin, he doesn't. Instead, it's more so a beef that I have with how the NHL handles their award process.