New York Rangers goaltender is becoming Igor the Great

igor shesterkin vezina
Nov 6, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) looks on during the first period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers sit in second place in the Metro Division with 17 points as of November 10, 2021. Their record is 7-3-3 with Igor Shesterkin acting as the world’s largest floatation device.

Shesty, as his teammates call him, is 6-2-2 with a remarkable .931 SV% and a 2.37 GAA. His SV% ranks 7th among net minders that have played at least 5 games this season.

While that may scream “remarkable” on the surface, anyone who dives deeper into the numbers will know that it’s the high number of quality saves that makes him Igor the Great this season.

Shesterkin has been incredible

On Monday, Shesterkin stopped 42 of 45 shots for his third stolen victory of the season per Clear Sight Analytics run by MSG Analyst, Steve Valiquette. A Hank-Heist as he’s coining it. They also have him ranked first in Goals Allowed versus Goals Expected.

A look at the entire canvas of his young career shows that the 4-3 win against the Panthers was the eighth time he recorded a victory with 40+ saves. It’s the most among all goalies since he debuted in the 2019-20 season. He is a perfect 8-0-0 in those contests.

Rangers defense needs to tighten up

new york rangers
Nov 8, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save in the third period against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Gerard Gallant recognizes that Igor Shesterkin is a big reason why the Rangers are well above .500 in the standings. “We’re still giving up way too much in the defensive zone,” he said after the win against Florida.

Per NaturalStatTrick, the Rangers have given up 122 high danger chances, allowing 14 goals. Only Detroit (156), Vegas (150), Toronto (127) and Anaheim (123) have more of those type chances against.

The real problem for the Rangers is the amount of shots they give up in the slot. “We’ve been talking about it. Showing video. It seems like we give up the slot shot more than anybody else. It’s frustrating,” Gallant explained.

How bad is it? Per Clear Sight Analytics, it’s pretty putrid.

Slot Area Chances Against:

  • NYR 192
  • VGK 167
  • DET 166
  • BUF 161
  • CHI 158

Gallant has to find a way to fix this mess, but the team is fortunate that Igor the Great is back there to save them.

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