NY Islanders: Making the case for Ilya Sorokin over Igor Shesterkin

2023 NHL All-Star - Skills Competition
2023 NHL All-Star - Skills Competition / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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In 2021-22, Shesterkin had one of the best seasons ever for an NHL goaltender, finishing with an incredible .935 SV%, allowing just 2.07 goals per game, earning him the Vezina Trophy. Aside from his Vezina season, Shesterkin's numbers have been significantly lower in his other two seasons, finishing both with a .916 SV% and GAA's of 2.62 (2020-21) and 2.48 (2022-23).

Conversely, Sorokin's numbers have been much more consistent. In his rookie year of 2020-21, an awkward season for everyone, especially those just entering the league, he finished with his best GAA (2.17) and worst SV% (.918). In his two years as a starter, Sorokin's statistical range has been much more confined, with a GAA of 2.40 (2021-22) and 2.34 (2022-23) - versus a SV% of .925 (2021-22) and .924 (2022-23).

Sorokin finished second in Vezina voting this season as Linus Ullmark was granted the award, playing for the best regular season team in NHL history while posting outlandish numbers.

If the two played their home games on the other sides of the continent from each other, this would likely never be a debate. The only reason there is a war of words over who holds the advantage is due to intermingling fan bases and a 20-mile distance between UBS Arena and Madison Square Garden. While it's all fun and games debating the two, both sides can be happy with their top-notch netminders and enjoy the battles for years to come.