Rangers Roundup: Shesterkin is a battler, Chytil dealt with lingering injury, and more

igor shesterkin
Feb 15, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers trainer talks to New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) after hitting his head on the ice during overtime at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers held practice today at the MSG Training Center with Mika Zibanejad being given a maintenance day.

Tomorrow, they will face the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden and Igor Shesterkin may get the start. When asked about Igor’s workload from Tuesday, head coach Gerard Gallant wasn’t concerned.

“We just had 10 days off, so I’m not worried about that one bit,” he said about Shesterkin playing over 60 minutes and going 9 rounds in a shootout win over Boston.

While everyone is amazed by the numbers that Shesterkin has posted so far this season, it’s been his compete and battle level that impressed me the most. There are many technically sound and/or acrobatic goalies to have played in the NHL. However, the difference with the great ones is their ability to battle under pressure and finds ways to win.

Igor Shesterkin a battler

Shesterkin appeared shaken up with 2:12 remaining when Smith’s right arm collided with his helmet. He was slow to get up and made a glove save on Hall with 52 seconds left and then exited with when the trainer came out to get him after getting the call from the concussion spotter.

igor shesterkin
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The call likely came after the league’s spotter watched MSG cameras zoom in on Shesterkin, who was blinking and looking like he was adjusting his eyes.

Shesterkin was surprised when medical trainer Jim Ramsay came to him informing of the call. He initially denied the request to come off. As he was leaving the ice, Shesterkin slammed his stick against the glass in anger almost vowing he’d be back.

“Honestly, I did lose control when I got sent off,” Shesterkin admitted “You saw me hitting the boards with my stick. That won’t happen again.”

If you ask me, I have no problem with Shesterkin showing some emotion and blowing off some steam. Henrik Lundqvist certainly broke a few sticks in his time.

Alexandar Georgiev finished the OT, but before the shootout began Shesterkin came charging out of the tunnel to the roar of the Garden Faithful.

“When I came back out, the fans gave me so much energy,” Shesterkin said. “I couldn’t do anything else but save the game.”

Shesterkin, 26, is 23-5-2 with 3 shutouts, a 2.05 GAA and a .938 SV%.

Filip Chytil feeling 100%

The Bruins held the lead until 6:45 into the third when Chytil netted his fifth goal of the season by pushing his own rebound into the net after Swayman made a pad save on the initial attempt.

It was Chytil’s first game back after dealing with a nagging lower-body injury. He last played on January 22 against the Arizona Coyotes missing five games with the issue.

“The rest was needed,” Chytil admitted “There was something I was battling through. I worked hard during the break to get back to top shape and I felt good yesterday.”

Chytil, 22, has 5 goals and 7 assists for 12 points in 39 games.

Jones and Schneider likely to remain a pair

Braden Schneider had another outstanding game, registering an assist on Chytil’s goal in 17:53 of ice time. His partner, Zac Jones faired well also in his 16:15 of action. They were each a +1 on the night.

“We know what Jonesy is,” Gallant said. “He moves the puck– he skates. He’s not a big guy but he defends pretty hard.”

As far as the pairing, Gallant was extremely pleased.

“They’re two good young players,” he said. “They show energy and spunk. Everyone makes mistakes but they played real solid hockey.”

You can expect to see them paired tomorrow against the Red Wings.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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