A risky decision by Patrick Roy's for tonight game against Carolina

Carl Vaillancourt
April 22, 2024  (9:25 PM)

Semeon Varlamov
Photo credit: Empire Sports Media

The trust between a coach and their goalkeeper must be unwavering. Patrick Roy knows this well, having experienced it in the past. The New York Islanders' coach has given his vote of confidence to his goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

Even though his goalie suffered a setback against the Carolina Hurricanes, Patrick Roy doesn't hold it against him. Varlamov conceded twice on 25 shots directed at his net on Saturday.

Former Avalanche player Semyon Varlamov once again earns Patrick Roy's trust

With 55 starts this season, Ilya Sorokin will be Varlamov's backup for a second consecutive start.
In his last four starts in April, the 28-year-old Russian was excellent, allowing nine goals on 133 shots. He won three games and secured a point against the Rangers in a shootout on April 13th.
Among the 16 teams vying for the Stanley Cup, this is the boldest decision made by a coach. Putting your number one goalie on the bench and giving the net to your backup is quite a risky move by Patrick Roy.
"Varlamov in front of the net tonight." - Via Anthony Martineau, TVA Sports

At the end of his career, the 35-year-old Russian goalie posted a record of 14-8-4 this season. His goals-against average of 2.60 and save percentage of .918 were higher than those of his Russian counterpart, Ilya Sorokin.
Sorokin, 28, has a record of 25-19-12 this season, with a goals-against average of 2.98 and a save percentage of .910. Last year in the playoffs, he was outstanding in front of the Islanders' net (with a .930 save percentage).
Many hockey experts consider Ilya Sorokin one of the top five goalies in the Bettman circuit today. On July 1, 2023, Lou Lamoriello secured the services of goaltender Ilya Sorokin for the next eight seasons starting from 2024-2025. The contract extension will earn him an average annual salary of $8.25 million per season. At that price, it would be surprising to see him warming the bench throughout the series against the Canes.
If the Islanders suffer a loss in Game #2, it wouldn't be surprising to see Ilya Sorokin in front of the net in the third game of the series.
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