NY Islanders Plus/Minus 2023-24: Ilya Sorokin is everything to the blue and orange

Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders
Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The stats speak for themselves on Sorokin's productivity last season. He finished the regular season with a 31-22-7 record, carrying an Islanders team that had a hard time scoring. He also led the league with six shutouts and finished with a .924 save percentage and 2.34 goals against average, but somehow, none of these stats were even career highs for the white whale. As a result, he was voted to the NHL's Second All-Star team, finishing second in Vezina Trophy voting.

When watching the Russian netminder, you can tell how gifted he is athletically and why the Isles are lucky to have him. His positional play while covering the net is top-notch, up there with the likes of Igor Shesterkin and Andrei Vasilevskiy. He showcases so much athleticism with his flexibility and quick reactions, specifically on breakaways when he has to act quickly. Incredible saves became almost a nightly occurrence for Islanders fans to watch, and he may be the best in the league at making desperation saves with his paddle.

All these attributes of his game resulted in him stealing plenty of games for the blue and orange. As mentioned above, the Islanders had plenty of trouble scoring and did not find themselves in the offensive zone often and their power play seldom gave Sorokin any padding on the scoresheet. This was especially true when the Islanders lost their most dynamic player, Mat Barzal, due to injury, and plenty of other forwards, such as Bo Horvat and Anders Lee, suffered because of it, which again did not help Sorokin. It's rare that the most entertaining player on a hockey team is the goaltender, but it is indeed the case on Long Island, and he deserves much better from the team in front of him next season.