NY Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin continues to lead the NHL in one category

New York Islanders v Edmonton Oilers
New York Islanders v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin is headed to the 2023 All-Star Game and is widely regarded as one of the best goalies in the league despite a record of 15-15-4 this season. Among the reasons for that is that from an advanced statistics standpoint, his numbers are head and shoulders above his peers, but that's partly based on skill and partly based on circumstances.

According to JFresh Hockey, Sorokin leads all goaltenders in Goals Saved Above Expected with a GSAx of 31.3, which is 4.5 goals ahead of Jusse Saros of the Nashville Predators. Sorokin's .926 SV% ranks third in the NHL among goalies with 10 starts so it's not as if this number is based solely on the number of high danger chances the Islanders are allowing in front of him, but the stat is also given a boost from the number of opportunities presented.

Per Natural Stat Trick, the Islanders have allowed the third-most High Danger Chances Allowed (HDCA) with 501 this season, ahead of only the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens.

Sorokin's 2.32 GAA is sixth best in the league, and he's among six goaltenders with three shutouts on the season. However, Sorokin's shutouts distinguish themselves from the others as they occurred in games where he's stopped 49, 46, and 41 shots - only seven 40-or-more save shutouts have happened in the NHL this season. The 46-save shutout came in a 1-0 shootout loss to the Avalanche in Colorado back in December; that's how it's gone for Sorokin and the Islanders this season.

"Ilya is the best goalie in the world, so he deserves to be there," Mathew Barzal said of Sorokin making the trip to his first NHL All-Star Game (he was a five-time KHL All-Star). He's had to play that way to give the Islanders a chance to win most nights, and even during this stretch of only one win in eight games (1-4-3), you often find yourself thinking where this team would be without him.