February 7, 2021

Rangers won’t announce starting goalie for tomorrow until game time

Jan 22, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) takes the ice to play the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG Paints Arena. Pittsburgh won 4-3 in a shoot-out. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers concluded their Sunday practice session and will now head home to enjoy the Super Bowl. Brendan Smith skated today but was in a non-contact jersey.

As for tomorrow’s starting goaltender? Well he’s been decided on but won’t be revealed until tomorrow.

Will it be Georgiev or Shesterkin tomorrow?

I have a sneaking suspicion that David Quinn is going to ride the hot hand and play Igor Shesterkin. The 25 year-old backstop has been great in the Rangers past two wins.

Of course, he doesn’t have a great track record against the Islanders. Igor was in net for the game one drubbing this season and it’s the only time he’s faced them.

New York Rangers goalies
Georgiev(l) and Shesterkin(r) need to be better (Getty Images/FTHN Edit)

Alexandar Georgiev on the other hand has an excellent history against the team’s most hated rival. In his career he’s faced them 8 times and has a 6-2 record, with a 1.80 GAA, .941 SV% and 2 shutouts.

He’s also allowed two goals or fewer in six of those games. This season he stopped all 23 shots the Islanders threw his way to earn the team’s first win of the season in a 5-0 rout.

For his career, the Isles are his favorite opponent. In seven starts against them he’s earned more wins (6) and shutouts (2) than any other team he’s faced.

Shesterkin vs Sorokin

Semyon Varlamov beat the Penguins last night, but there’s a possibility the Islanders could go with Ilya Sorokin. That would be a long anticipated matchup if Shesterkin gets the nod as well.

Igor Shesterkin and Ilya Sorokin were both selected in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and have represented Russia in several tournaments. The two goaltenders helped Russia earn a silver medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, and a bronze medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, and they also represented Russia at the 2018 IIHF World Championship. In addition, Shesterkin and Sorokin helped the Olympic Athletes from Russia win a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Shesterkin and Sorokin played against each other in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for parts of six seasons (2013-14 – 2018-19), and they both played in the KHL All-Star Game in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

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Enjoy the Super Bowl everyone!

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