Igor Shesterkin is the starter for tomorrow night’s rematch against the Buffalo Sabres. In truth, he needs to be so much more for the New York Rangers.
Igor Shesterkin must be the Czar of New York
The Rangers thought highly enough of the 25 year-old net-minder that they said goodbye to a franchise legend in Henrik Lundqvist. The King gave way to the Czar when the Blueshirts opted to buy-out Hank.
Now it’s time for Shesterkin to claim the throne that was opened for him on that sad day.
In his last start, a 3-2 loss to the Penguins, he gave up 2 goals on just 4 third period shots that cost them the game. Shesterkin was not prepared for either of them and he left the ice dejected per his coach, David Quinn.
“You can see he was a little bit dejected after the last two games,” Quinn said the day after the Penguins game. “It’s a long season. The circumstances are a little different than they were last year.”
Right now, Shesterkin has to seize this opportunity. He needs to improve on his .886 SV% and a GAA of 2.98. If he does, his current 0-2-1 record will become a distant memory and the Blueshirts can get back into the playoff hunt.
The kid can do it
While fans focus on the bad goals he let up, they easily lose sight of the ones he hasn’t. As of right now, Shesterkin is tied for 11th in the NHL in High Danger Save Percentage.
His .895 HDSV% is equal to that of Marc-Andre Fleury’s in Vegas. This little stat gives you a some insight into just how good Shesterkin can be.
Last season, Shesterkin basically helped propel the Rangers into playoff contention with stellar net-minding. He did so in impressive fashion earning a 7 game winning streak that included victories against Toronto, Winnipeg, and Carolina. He also faced over 40 shots in 5 of his 12 starts, winning every single contest.
Shesterkin lived up to the hype with a 10-2 record in 12 games. The backstop did that with an impressive .932 SV% and 2.32 GAA. He also led all three goalies in High Danger SV% with an .857 (Lundqvist .850, Georgiev .828) last season.
The kid can do it. He just has to play with that swagger and confidence to get it done.
P.S. He could also use more goal support. In his three starts the Rangers have only scored a grand total of 5 times.