Ilya Sorokin #30 of the Islanders looks on during the second...

Ilya Sorokin #30 of the Islanders looks on during the second period against the Washington Capitals at UBS Arena on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Circumstances don’t alter Ilya Sorokin’s focus, whether it’s a heavy workload or a heavy amount of shots fired at him. The Islanders’ franchise goalie knows he must deal with what’s dealt to him.

“It’s like a card game,” Sorokin said after Monday’s practice at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow in advance of his eighth start in the last 10 games and his eighth straight appearance. “There’s never a choice of cards, but you always want to play a good game. For me, it doesn’t matter if it’s 16 [shots] or 40. My job is I should be ready.”

The Islanders will open a two-game homestand against the Pacific Division-leading Canucks on Tuesday night at UBS Arena. Goalie Semyon Varlamov (day-to-day, lower body) will remain unavailable for the third straight game after missing Monday’s practice. He has yet to resume skating, so Sorokin figures to continue starting.

But maybe not facing as many shots.

The Islanders outshot Vegas 30-29 in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to conclude a 1-2-1 road trip and also outshot the Coyotes 31-26 in a 5-1 win two nights earlier. But opponents are averaging 35.1 shots against them, the second most in the NHL.

“I think the league has gone on a little bit of throwing a lot at the net,” Anders Lee said. “Some teams have adopted that more and more. If they’re high-danger, then it’s an issue. From the outside, don’t care too much about it. I don’t think there’s anything to it other than we can try to eliminate more and get in shot lanes. Our D zone has been the focus for us for a little bit of late. We take care of some of those things, I think the shot number will definitely go down.

“The high-danger, the quality ones, are the ones you want to keep low.”

Per NaturalStatTrick.com, the Islanders have faced 422 high-danger chances, the third most in the NHL.

“Every shot going to the net is a dangerous shot,” Sorokin said. “You always should be focused. You can’t be relaxed and, ‘Oh, it’s an easy shot.’ No, it’s not an easy shot.”

To that point, the Islanders worked on a defensive adjustment during Monday’s practice, with coach Lane Lambert emphasizing the forwards providing more support to the defensemen down low and in the corners.

As for his recent workload, Sorokin said it’s true that the more a goalie plays, the sharper he feels.

“I feel good,” he said. “I feel fresh. I should be ready every game and have a good rest and a good recovery. [The recovery now is] the same. Good sleep. A lot of drinks. So nothing new.”

Notes & quotes: Lambert said defenseman Ryan Pulock (long-term injured reserve, lower body), who will miss his 14th game since Dec. 9, has yet to resume skating .  .  . Forward Carsen Twarynski, 26, signed a contract with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport after starting the season playing for Vienna in the Austrian league. He has one goal in 22 NHL games with the Flyers.

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