In fact, it’s Boston’s Linus Urmark posting numbers like Igor Shestakin in 2021-22, but it’s The Islander who’s having a Shestakin-like impact on the team in 2021-22. This is Ilya Sorokin from Z.
NHL general managers should take this into account when filling out ballots for the Vezina Trophy won by blueshirt netminers last year.
Coming into the weekend, Ullmark had a .938 save percentage, matching his predecessor Tim Thomas’ 2010-11 NHL record for a goaltender who played at least 50 games in a season. .
Their league-leading 1.88 points per game average is better than Shestakin’s 2.07 in 2021-22, when they finished third in the Hart Trophy voting.
Ullmark also lead in above-average saves of 46 goals according to Hockey-Reference, and have a sizeable lead in above-expected save goals per 60:00 according to MoneyPuck.
However, the Bruins team that Ullmark plays for was a machine that backup Jeremy Swayman posted a .921 save percentage and a 2.21 GAA.
The Islanders, well, wouldn’t even be anywhere near the playoffs without Sorokin’s rule, let alone the first wild card holder at this point.
The 27-year-old Russian’s influence goes beyond his .924 save percentage, 2.24 GAA, above-average 33.1 goals, and above-expected .683 goals per 60:00.
His aura brings confidence to the team.
His extraordinary ability to make seemingly impossible saves in the most critical situations has elevated his team, who are often challenged on offense.
Sorokin stands on the shortlist to become just the second Islander netminder in history, 41 years after Bill Smith won the trophy in the first year of voting for the award in 1982.
Before that, the trophy was basically a team award, given to the goaltender who played a minimum of 25 games for the club and allowed the fewest goals in the league.
Marty Walsh, the newly appointed executive director of the NHLPA, has a background of supporting progressive causes.
However, if people believe he was hired to lead the union for social justice, that is a complete misunderstanding of his mandate.
One of the main objectives of the Walsh administration is to revive an international calendar featuring best-on-best tournaments, as it was under the Don Fehr administration.
If the PA could have persuaded the NHL to move from an indomitable hard cap to a soft cap luxury tax regime, it would have been during Fehr’s first CBA negotiations in 2012. .
Gary Bettman and the board won more from the union by reducing the player’s slice of the pie from 57% of gross to 50% of gross after a 119-day lockout, so no effort then was.
If you believe the NHL will give up the hard cap, you are dreaming.
The only way the hard cap will go away is if the union decides to revoke the certification.
This is a concept that seems as foreign as the Flyers winning another Stanley Cup.
Boston’s Jim Montgomery has held pole position for months in connection with the Adams Trophy for Coach of the Year.
But Lindy Ruff deserves some pretty strong consideration.
And what about Dean Evason, who led Minnesota 7-1-2 to No. 1 Donnybrook in Central since the brilliant Kirill Kaprizov was knocked out on March 8?
This sort of thing lends a bit of silliness to identifying one player or another as MVP by assessing the athlete’s implicit indispensability.
Stop me if I’m wrong (but keep reading), but Kaprizov was probably unanimously named Wild’s MVP, right?
A) The 2001 Avalanche won the Cup, with Peter Forsberg missing the final two rounds of the tournament. Or B) 2017 Penguins repeat despite Chris Letang missing the entire playoff?
In the three 2003-2005 drafts, the Penguins drafted four future first-time Hall of Famers in Marc-Andre Fleury (first overall in ’03). Evgeny Malkin (2nd overall 2004), Sidney Crosby (1st overall 2005) and Letang (62nd overall 2005) didn’t even need to tank.
Minnesota appears to be ahead as a partner in the net for Fleury by trading Cam Talbot for Philip Gustafsson, but Wild didn’t?
Those who believed Calgary general manager Brad Treliving won the summer may want to start over.
Of course, Jacob Markstrom reaching .890 save percentage territory doesn’t make GM or head coach Darryl Suter look smarter.
Random thought, but two of the strangest moves Lou Lamoriello made as Devils GM were to buy Joslyn Lemieux months after trading Claude Lemieux and Scott Niedermeier leaving. Four years later, he signed Rob Niedermeier as a free agent.
Finally, we recognize that the NHL’s decision to grant uniform rights to Fanatics from 2024-2025 has generated disgust on social media.
Maybe it’s justified.
But if this outfit could get rid of the gaudy red collar of the Rangers’ Road White and the doomed red yoke of the Home Blues collar, I’d go all-in.