Rangers Roundup: Igor Shesterkin hitting his stride, trade deadline payoff, and more
New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin struggled early in the playoffs in Games 3 and 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 1. He allowed 10 goals in those contests and the Rangers were suddenly down 3 games to 1.
At the time, Shesterkin’s playoff numbers were shocking in comparison to his regular season that earned him Vezina and Hart Trophy consideration. Here’s a look at Igor’s stats:
- Games 1-4 vs PIT: 1-2, 4.26 GAA, .905 SV%
- Games 5-7 vs PIT: 3-0, 2.93 GAA, .917 SV%
- Games 1-4 vs CAR: 2-2, 1.25 GAA, .959 SV%
The trend line is pretty obvious with Shesterkin hitting his stride at the right time.
The 26 year-old backstop has an overall record of 6-4 in the playoffs with a GAA of 2.77 and a SV% of .925. During the regular season, he posted a 36-13-4 record to lead the Rangers to the playoffs and second place finish in the Metro Division. His .935 SV% and 2.07 GAA were tops in the NHL for both categories.
“He’s been in the zone from Day One since I’ve seen him,” Gerard Gallant said. “He steps up and he’s only a young kid by goalie standards, but the way he’s playing has been incredible.”
Trade Deadline Acquisitions paying off big time
The New York Rangers began to fill in holes and add depth to their team just prior to the March 21 NHL Trade Deadline. It began a few days prior with the acquisition of Frank Vatrano and then on actual trade deadline day, Chris Drury added three more players.
- Andrew Copp and a 2023 sixth-round pick for Morgan Barron, (2) conditional second-round picks in 2022, and a 2023 fifth-round pick
- Tyler Motte for a 2023 fourth-round pick
- Justin Braun for a 2023 third-round pick
- Frankie Vatrano for a 2022 fourth-round pick
Last night, all four players had a big impact on Game 4 and the Rangers getting the series to even before heading back to Carolina.
Andrew Copp was named the #1 star of the game with 1 goal and 2 assists. He has registered 10 points in 11 games this postseason, good for third in team scoring.
“I think the never-die mentality has been in this team from Day One, and I’ve kind of felt that from walking in a couple of months ago,” Copp said Tuesday night. “I feel like the new guys have kind of fit right in with that mentality.”
Adam Fox, who is second on the team in scoring with 13 (1 point behind Mika Zibanejad) also heaped praise on the “new guys”.
“In the playoffs and in the regular season they came in and were big factors,” he said. “Upfront you can see what Copper and Frank are able to do. You can see the bolt of energy from Motter when he’s in and he’s an underrated part of what we’ve been doing in the playoffs. And having Brauner back there, he’s a veteran guy– a calming presence. Obviously some great acquisitions.”
The NHL Playoffs heat up as the New York Rangers battled back to win both games at home and even their series with the Carolina Hurricanes. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers survived a 150′ goal on Mike Smith to put the Calgary Flames on the brink of elimination. Read more.