In the post-game after last night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Flyers, Barry Trotz said he thinks Ilya Sorokin’s confidence continues to grow. It’s hard to disagree, and indeed I thought the same thing while watching the whole affair. The shootout is not a pure lab environment in which to judge NHL goaltending, however you can see Sorokin’s self-assurance with the way he’s approached the past I-don’t-know-how-many shooters in the breakaway contest.
Last night’s groin-splitter save against Sean Couturier’s rather advanced deke was just the latest example. Sorokin’s WWE-light gestures after completing the shootout wins is another sign. And his confident aggressive positioning while reading the play at 5-on-5 and the penalty kill are another (and perhaps the most promising of all) sign that his adjustment to the NHL is advancing.
Long story short, I’m falling in love. It’s a beautiful thing.
The Islanders are right back at it tonight, part of a 3-in-4, as the Rangers visit the Coliseum. Leave your FIG Picks here.
About last night:
- Less than stellar performance for both teams, so we’ll take the Sorokin points. [LHH]
- “Obviously, in the last 24 hours there was a lot of emotion,” said newcomer Kyle Palmieri. [NHL]
- Flyers fans have had about enough of that Brock Nelson fella. [BSH]
- “The Isles trail Toronto and Carolina by one point in the President’s Trophy race.” [NYI Skinny]
- Another big showing from Brock, and the goalie who’s drawing “Il-ya!” chants from the Coliseum crowd. [Isles]
Thus Spake Trotzathustra:
“I thought [the new guys] did a fine job for the most part,” Barry Trotz said. “When you come into a new situation, it’s emotional for them, it’s a tough first game. But they were fine. I tried to ease them in a little bit.”
He also said moving Oliver Wahlstrom off the roster was about managing the vets and roster flexibility, and not so much about him being banged up.
Trotz Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/txTr0fx2AH— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 9, 2021
- Yet more analysis on how Zajac and Palmieri will fit in with the Isles. [Sportsnet]
- Yes the Isles spent some futures, but the time is clearly now for them. [Newsday]
- 7 Facts: About Kyle Palmieri [Isles] About Travis Zajac [Isles]
- Devils’ Kyle Palmieri looks up to Bud Harrelson, his ailing godfather. [Newsday]
- Chris King hast to miss at least two more from the radio broadcast due to Covid protocol. [Newsday]
- (Yester)day in Isles history: The Dubie pokecheck. [Isles]
This moment is the only good the shootout has ever contributed to society. https://t.co/sxb71izPP3— Dominik & LHHFriends (@LHHockey) April 8, 2021
Last night’s other NHL scores include the Penguins beating the Rangers, the Bruins beating the Capitals (thanks!) and the Devils winning the latest Depression Challenge with the Sabres.
- After dealing two key UFA veterans, the Devils focus on the future. [NHL]
- Niiiine times. That’s the number of times Ferris has skipped school this year and the number of times the Oilers have beaten the Senators to complete a season sweep. [NHL | Sportsnet]
- Steven Stamkos was injured in the Lightning’s win, so the Islanders’ path to the Cup final is assured. [NHL]
- Amid their Covid hell, the Canucks have agreed to a three-year extension with Tanner Pearson. [NHL]
- NHL trade rumors (which suddenly interest us much less): Will the Blues trade Mike Hoffman? ...and other questions. They scratched him, much like the Blues scratched Hoffman. [Sportsnet]
- The Isles are probably done, but if they want to splurge on another defenseman, here are nine that should be available. [Sportsnet]
- Taylor Hall is willing to sign an extension with a new team if it will expedite his exit from hell. [Sportsnet]
- The market for Hall is heating up, it seems. [TSN]
- The Avalanche are devastatingly scary (except in goal), and a major part of it is how dominant they’ve been at even strength. [TSN]