New York Rangers 2023-24 report cards: Grading the goalies

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

A historic regular season and disappointing playoff finish are behind the New York Rangers, who scattered to their respective homes around the world a week ago. Though there’s plenty of offseason business ahead, including the 2024 NHL Draft on June 28-29 and the start of NHL free agency on July 1, it’s still worth taking a look back at each individual player’s performance in 2023-24.

Let’s start with goalies Igor Shesterkin and Jonathan Quick.

Related: Why Zac Jones is an answer for Rangers on defense next season

Grading Rangers goalies in 2023-24 regular season and playoffs

Each goalie receives a grade for the regular season and another for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Igor Shesterkin

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Florida Panthers
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Regular season: B

Playoffs: A

It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Igor Shesterkin during the 2023-24 regular season, one that was interrupted twice, first for a minor injury in November and then for a re-set following a spate of poor play late January into February.

The 28-year-old had a personal seven-game winning streak in February after a pair of five-game win streaks earlier in the season. He also allowed 15 goals in a rugged three-start stretch in December and just didn’t resemble his Vezina Trophy-winning self for different swaths of the season. At the NHL All-Star break, his save percentage hovered under .900.

During these stretches, Shesterkin was good, just not as great as we’re accustomed. To his credit, he worked through some things midseason with goalie coach Benoit Allaire and was much sharper late in the season.

All told, Shesterkin was 36-17-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and four shutouts in 55 games. He was tied for third in the League in wins, just two behind former teammate Alexandar Georgiev for the NHL lead. He also finished tied for seventh among goalies who made 30 or more starts in save percentage and was 10th in GAA. His goals saved above expected was 12.1, per Money Puck, 12th-best in the NHL.

Shesterkin certainly found his A game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, however, particularly against the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final. His play against the Panthers was nothing short of heroic, despite losing in six games. The Rangers were thoroughly dominated for long stretches, yet Shesterkin made one huge save after another, game after game, to give them a chance.

Though he allowed four goals in Game 3 against the Panthers, Shesterkin singlehandedly carried the Rangers to overtime after being under siege in the third period. That set the stage for Alex Wennberg’s game-winning goal and an absolute heist of a victory, thanks to the All-Star goalie.

Shesterkin made 54 saves in the 4-3 double-overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of the second round and 45 saves two days later in a 3-2 overtime win. He made 30 or more saves in seven of 16 postseason starts, when the Rangers were outshot in all but three games.

His 10 playoff wins are tied for third most and his .927 save percentage is second among goalies to play at least five postseason games. He allowed two goals or fewer eight times and his GAA (2.34) is fourth among those to start at least 10 games. His goals saved above expected was a ridiculous 13.1, a hair behind League-leader Jeremy Swayman of the Boston Bruins (13.3).

As Panthers coach Paul Maurice remarked after the conference final, Shesterkin “was brilliant.”

Related: 2024 NHL trade deadline was mixed bag for Rangers

Jonathan Quick

NHL: New York Rangers at Arizona Coyotes
Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Regular Season: A-

Playoffs: N/A

Jonathan Quick was an absolute revelation this season, rebounding from a subpar 2022-23 campaign split between the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights. Many thought he was done at 37, his best days firmly in the past, but Quick thrived in the No. 2 role with the Rangers, posting an 18-6-2 record, 2.62 GAA, .911 save percentage and two shutouts in 27 games (26 starts).

Quick was 9-0-1 out of the gate before losing his first game in regulation on Dec. 22. He filled in capably when Shesterkin was hurt early in the season and again when the starter needed to work on his game midseason. He allowed two goals or fewer 11 times and was so solid as a backup that the Rangers signed him to a contract extension before the season was over.

Along the way, he passed Ryan Miller as the all-time winningest United States-born goalie in NHL history. He’s seven wins shy of becoming the 14th goalie all-time to reach 400 in the NHL.

The three-time Stanley Cup champion formed a special bond with Shesterkin on and off the ice. And Quick was an important leader in the dressing room all season, including the playoffs when teammates singled him out despite not playing a single minute. It was no surprise that Quick was voted the winner of the Players’ Player Award.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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