Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev subtly asks for more playing time

Alexandar Georgiev took the podium last night to answer questions after his fifth straight loss. A game where he let in 5 goals on 28 shots with at least two of them very stoppable.

The 26 year-old goalie simply did not give his team a chance to win after letting in a clear-sighted shot to beat him 10 minutes into the contest. That was followed by a borderline high-stick goal a little over 4 minutes later.

Two goals on just six shots after one period and the Blueshirts were in a hole early en route to a 5-2 defeat.

Alexandar Georgiev asks for more playing time

Georgiev’s record has now fallen to 7-9-2 with a 3.15 GAA, and a .893 SV%. His last win came on January 8 against the Ducks in Anaheim.

“I don’t want to rate my game,” Georgiev said. “It’s been frustrating and a bit of a tough streak. Just try to come in and every shot is a new opportunity for me, and just go from there.”

There’s no doubt this has been a difficult time for Georgiev. A goaltender who came on to the scene during the 2017-18 season posting a .918 SV% to take the role as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup for two seasons. That was before Igor Shesterkin arrived.

During his time as Hank’s understudy, he was playing a little more often. Of course, Lundqvist was already in his late 30’s and required more rest. The Kings was also on the downside of his career, making it easier to get playing time. That’s not the case with the 26 year-old Shesterkin, who is also in the midst of a Vezina and Hart Trophy worthy season.

“There’s only one way to be in game rhythm is to play,” Georgiev made his subtle request for more starts. “We’ve been doing some drills with [Benoit Allaire] and working hard in practice. I don’t know what else we can do. That’s maybe for us to think about.”

Georgiev not built to be a backup

alexandar georgiev
Mar 8, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (46) shoots the puck against the New York Rangers during the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

This recent losing streak is really bad, and there’s no sugarcoating it. In his last five starts, he is 0-5-0 with a bloated 4.28 GAA and a very low .862 SV%. It’s really easy to write Georgiev off, as many fans have done so but that’s not fair.

Some goalies are just not built to play sparingly. Georgiev appears to be that goalie. Prior to this season, his numbers were very good. In 96 games, he posted a 43-38-9 to go along with a solid GAA of 2.95 and a .912 SV%.

To further prove the point, when Igor Shesterkin went down with a groin injury in early January, Georgiev stepped up.

During that time, Georgiev went 3-2-1 with a 1.92 GAA and .935 SV%. Those are not numbers to dismiss, which is why teams like the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers tried to acquire him this season.

Will he get that playing time is the question and the answer is no– at least not with the Rangers.

“It’s gotta be tough for [Georgiev]– hopefully he’ll get a win,” Gallant said. “We’re about winning hockey games. You feel for him– he doesn’t get many games. We can’t worry about individual players.”

Georgiev may be getting a fresh start by the March 21st NHL Trade Deadline. It would not surprise me if Chris Drury deals him and rides Keith Kinkaid, who is having a strong season in Hartford as the team’s backup.

One thing is for sure, Georgiev will be wearing a new uniform before next year begins. The team has already decided they will not be extending him due to salary cap issues.

Related: Rickard Rakell is available and the Rangers should make a move

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