For those of you that were hoping to see Ilya Soroking, the New York Islanders white whale, in net on Thursday you’ll have to wait a little longer.
While the young Russian netminder has had a good training camp, the starting job still belongs to Semyon Varlamov. The veteran netminder helped get the Islanders to the Eastern Conference Finals last season for the first time since 1993 and had a .921 save percentage in the playoffs.
“Varly is our goaltender to start,” Trotz said. “He’s earned that right through his play. Both of them had good camps. For me, I think Varly has earned that right to start and we’ll go from there.”
Varlamov had a strong 2019-20 season before COVID-19 abruptly halted things. He went 19-14-6 in 39 starts with the Islanders last season.
It was his first year with the organization after they signed him in the offseason.
While NYI Hockey Now noted earlier this week that Sorokin had looked strong in camp to indicate that he would be able to live up to the expectations the fan base had, it would have been surprising to see him start right out of the gate.
Sorokin will still need time to adjust to the small ice surface and the quicker style of play in the NHL. He has been observed working with the Islanders goaltending staff, including the director of goaltending Mitch Korn.
— Christian Arnold (@C_Arnold01) January 5, 2021
The Islanders open the season on Thursday with the first of two games against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
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