NY Islanders: 5 reasons why Ilya Sorokin should be a Vezina Finalist

New York Islanders v Edmonton Oilers
New York Islanders v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages
4 of 6

Highlight Reel Machine

Perhaps no goaltender in the NHL is more likely to give you a highlight reel save than Ilya Sorokin. His athleticism, freakish flexibility, and natural instincts mean he is never out of a play and would-be sure goals end up magnificent game-altering saves.

Last season, Sorokin made the 'save of the year' with his sprawling, jaw-dropping lunging stop to rob Artemi Panarin at Madison Square Garden in an Islanders win over the New York Rangers. That save will be hard to top for the rest of his career, but he came close this season, including a key paddle save that may have saved the Islanders' season.

Late in the second period on Feb. 20, with the Pittsburgh Penguins leading 2-1, Jake Guentzel made a play that had Sorokin moving to his left. His pass was deflected and then corralled by Kris Letang, who got off a backhand that looked destined for the empty net before Sorokin stuck out his stick and made an absurd paddle save to keep it a one-goal game.

The Islanders went on to win the game 4-2 and swept the season series against the Penguins, just enough to finish ahead of them in Eastern Conference standings which kept Pittsburgh out of the playoffs for the first time in 16 seasons.