NY Islanders recall Black Ace goaltender Jakub Skarek from Bridgeport
Carrying three goaltenders in the playoffs looks like it's becoming a recurring theme. We've seen the Carolina Hurricanes start the trend with Pyotr Kotchetkov in the mix with Frederick Anderson and Antii Raanta, the New Jersey Devils call up Akira Schmid with Vitek Vanecek and Mackenzie Blackwood already there, and now the NY Islanders are doing their part, calling up Bridgeport Islanders goaltender Jakub Skarek to get his first taste of the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the third string to Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov.
There's no cause for concern here. Both Sorokin and Varlamov are in good health and Sorokin is your projected Game 1 starter in Raleigh tonight against the 'Canes. Skarek, 23, will just be some extra insurance to have around the team while getting his feet wet in what the NHL playoff atmosphere is like and how it feels to work in an NHL playoff schedule.
Skarerk and the Jr. Islanders failed to clinch a Calder Cup Playoffs spot this season with a 34-30-7 record for a total of 76 points, four points shy of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms who claimed the last playoff spot in the AHL's Atlantic Division.
The Jihlava, Czechia goaltender didn't exactly have a season to brag about in the AHL this season. He ended the year with a 15-16-3 record, a 3.37 goals-against average, and a .892 save percentage. Skarek's recall gives him the chance to work more closely with goaltending coaches Piero Greco and Mitch Korn, arguably the best goaltending coaches in the NHL. It also gives Skarek a chance to work closely with Sorokin (considered one of the best goaltenders in the NHL), and Varlamov who has plenty of veteran wisdom to share.
The Islanders might also want to get a bit of a look (in practice, at least) at what they have in Skarek. Varlamov is a pending unrestircted free agent when the Islanders season concludes, and the 34-year-old goaltender could possibly want to see if he can have one more shot at a starting job on another team. If so, the Islanders will need a backup and the Islanders will need to know where Skarek is at in his development.
For now, Skarek is a Black Ace and will get a feel of what the Stanley Cup Playoffs are like.