Top 3 reasons the Carolina Hurricanes will win in Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs

The Carolina Hurricanes are facing a New York Islanders team that came out of nowhere to finish third in the Atlantic Division.
Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets
Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages
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Ilya Sorokin (or Semyon Varlamov) can’t do everything himself 

Ilya Sorokin’s year wasn’t as bad as his numbers looked. Check out his basic stats, and you would think Sorokin had more than just a down season, as he finished the year with a 0.908 save percentage and a 3.01 GAA, but he also faced 32.53 shots on goal per game, one of the higher marks in the league. 

The 28-year-old won’t win or even contend for the Vezina this season, thanks to the fact he lost 12 games in overtime and recorded just two shutouts. By contrast, he blanked opponents 13 times in the past two seasons combined, but the Isles were also better defensively in both campaigns. 

While his actual goals allowed at even strength weren’t anywhere near what they were in the past, he still finished the year with one below an xGA of 122 at 121, further signifying a good season. But as much as Sorokin had bailed out the Islanders, they did little to help him this year. And in playoff hockey against one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams, there is no way he’s bailing them out in four out of the potential seven contests. 

Overall, Carolina’s scorers are too good, and there is a good chance they will log something much higher than the 32.53 shots on goal Sorokin faced this season. 

Update: Semyon Varlamov will be in the net for at least Game 1.