NY Islanders Goaltender Ilya Sorokin Believes He Needs to Work On the 'Small Details' Of His Game

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
New York Islanders v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

There's been a carousel in goal for the NY Islanders for decades, searching for their 'goaltender of the future' who can add a few tallies to the win column on their own.

Feeling as if they finally had that netminder, Lou Lamoriello signed Ilya Sorokin to an 8-year extension worth $8.25M a season, the first day he was eligible last summer. This season, just before that extension kicks in, Sorokin had the worst season of his professional career, dating back to his time in the KHL.

The 28-year-old Vezina Trophy runner-up from a year ago posted a .909 SV% and 3.01 GAA - well below his career averages.

Before Semyon Varlamov took over as the Islanders' number one goalie down the stretch, Sorokin faced more rubber than any goaltender in the league. Allowing goals he typically stops with ease, mental lapses appeared to be plaguing Sorokin rather than physical, as he was never injured and appeared as athletic as ever.

Sorokin doesn't need to revamp his game in the off-season completely but rather needs to hone in on the minutiae of his game.

"I think all goalie's games it's small details," said Sorokin during his clean out day interview. "You should control the small details. And when you lose this, it's like a snowball. Like an avalanche."

Known for his hard work and dedication every day at practice, Sorokin said he "wants to start skating Monday," in response to how badly he wants to come back better next season.

The lasting memory of Sorokin from this season will be after he was pulled from Game 3 of the first round against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Russian netminder remained in the corridor between the bench and the locker room, feeling as if he had let his team down, joking with Joe Pantorno of amNY "I wanted to have a cigarette,"

There's no denying that Sorokin is one of the top netminders in the league when he's on his game and will be an integral part of another run towards the postseason next year.

"Soroky is one of the best goalies in this league," said Anders Lee. "And he's going to continue to prove that over and over. I know he's going to have a great off-season and come in flying."