Rangers Roundup: Gallant says team should be ’embarrassed’, saving Shesterkin, and more

There were very few positives to take away from the New York Rangers back-to-back debacles. In their last two games, both losses, the Blueshirts gave up 11 goals.

Against Minnesota, the Rangers gave up 18 high danger chances against at even strength. They followed that up with 10 in St. Louis per Natural Stat Trick. That’s 28 high danger chances against to 21 for, which is only made worse with 6 goals scored by the opposition (MIN 3, STL 3) on those chances to the Rangers 0.

Simply put, the Rangers need a complete team defensive effort going forward.

Gerard Gallant says team should be embarrassed

After the game, head coach Gerard Gallant tried to remain poised and measured but he was clearly displeased. “Not what I expected at all,” he said shaking his head as the expectation was to have a strong rebound game considering what happened in Minnesota (5-2 loss).

“[Shesterkin] had no chance on the first goal and a couple tap-ins, no chance at all,” a disappointed Gallant said. “You get frustrated and hope you wake your guys up (pulling him). It didn’t really, but they should be embarrassed a little bit, the way this guy plays for them all year, and then they come out here and play like that after a game in Minnesota that we weren’t too good in.”

When he lifted Shesterkin, he said very little on the bench and opted to “shut up and let them play” to get the message across. Hopefully the message sinks in before they face the Dallas Stars.

“There’s lessons that need to be learned,” Barclay Goodrow said. “We need to learn from those and turn the page for a big game on Saturday.”

Saving Shesterkin

Igor Shesterkin
Feb 26, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) during a time-out against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Igor Shesterkin has been stellar all season, but even he proved to be human in St. Louis.

The Rangers netminder gave up 4 goals on 12 shots, at even strength and stopped all 5 power play shots he faced in 20:15 of action for a total of 12 saves. His season stats dropped last night, seeing his SV% fall from .942 to .939. What took the biggest hit was his 1.93 GAA jumping up to 2.02.

Like the coach said, he certainly deserved a better performance in front of him. And in fairness, so does Alexandar Georgiev.

“It’s on us as players to be better in front of (Shesterkin),” Goodrow said.

The issue for the Rangers continues to be shots from home plate, an area in front of the goaltender that includes the slot and the area of ice around the crease.

“Just too many high quality scoring chances… It’s definitely not Igor,” Jacob Trouba said. “A lot of slot shots. You have to protect the house.”

The Rangers will likely go back to Shesterkin on against the Stars looking to go .500 on this road-trip. He’s been saving the team all season and for once it’s time for the team to save him.

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