Ilya Sorokin is complicating the Islanders’ goalie dilemma

2 months ago 53

There is coy, and past determination is this, from Barry Trotz.

“We’ll spell into Nashville, evidently 1 of them volition beryllium successful net,” the Islanders manager said connected Wednesday. “We’ll conscionable play it disconnected of that. The 1 thing, you’re astir apt wondering who I’m gonna spell with.”

That would beryllium correct.

The Islanders waived Cory Schneider connected Monday, a awesome that Semyon Varlamov is acceptable to travel disconnected injured reserve aft missing the season’s archetypal six games. A week ago, this equation would person been simple: Varlamov, who played good capable past play to gain Vezina Award votes, returning to his spot arsenic the Islanders’ starter successful net. 

Ilya Sorokin, though, has made it complex.

After giving up 14 goals successful his archetypal 4 starts, Sorokin posted 2 consecutive shutouts successful the Islanders’ play back-to-back astatine Arizona and Vegas. Against the Knights, the Russian was the driving unit down a 2-0 win, making 42 saves successful a crippled wherever the Knights dominated the puck.

Ilya Sorokin recorded back-to-back shutouts successful wins implicit the Coyotes and Golden Knights implicit the weekend, showing manager Barry Trotz wherefore helium should beryllium the starting goalie erstwhile Semyon Varlamov returns.NHLI via Getty Images

“He’s been outstanding,” Casey Cizikas said aft that game. “He’s won america games and he’s kept america successful games. Back-to-back shutouts to decorativeness a roadworthy trip, that’s big. You tin spot him, he’s comfy successful there. He’s assured successful there. He’s not giving excessively galore 2nd opportunities up, truthful he’s lasting gangly and he’s winning america games.”

So now, determination is simply a question — 1 Trotz artfully avoided answering Wednesday morning.

“Well it isn’t the aforesaid program [as earlier the season] due to the fact that of the information that done grooming camp, we had to power the program a small bit,” Trotz said, referencing Varlamov’s undisclosed injury.

“I’ll look astatine it this way: We’re looking astatine what we’re gonna bash for Nashville, we’re looking astatine Montreal and past we benignant of look astatine the what-ifs.”

That is to say, the Islanders don’t truly person a program beyond the adjacent future. And they’re not saying what the program is for the adjacent future.

“We astir apt lone spell 2 weeks retired present versus the bigger picture,” Trotz said. “Once you get a period oregon 2 into it, you adhd 2 weeks and arsenic you spell deeper into the schedule, you spell 1 week astatine a time.”

The mode Sorokin is playing, it would beryllium hard to support him disconnected the ice. Trotz considered playing Schneider successful the crippled against Vegas. Sorokin, though, told him helium would beryllium bully to spell and past rewarded the manager with a fantastic performance.

“He said helium truly hasn’t played back-to-backs since helium was playing successful insignificant hockey,” Trotz said. “So it was good. It showed a batch from him.”

With the Islanders playing conscionable doubly successful the adjacent 8 days earlier different back-to-back, determination is nary request to unreserved Varlamov backmost onto the ice. At the aforesaid time, if helium is acceptable — and Trotz said helium is afloat steadfast — seeing him play would assistance clarify the bigger picture.

“He’s gonna beryllium a small spot rusty anyways if it’s 4 weeks oregon immoderate it is, oregon 5 weeks, it won’t matter,” Trotz said. “So his starting constituent is whenever we enactment him successful the net.

“… We request some our goalies to beryllium connected and they springiness america a accidental to triumph each night. They’re some very, precise good.”