Rise of the Czar, Igor Shesterkin crowned new King

David Quinn in a nonchalant way officially announced what we all saw and knew was coming. Before the game against Minnesota last night he was asked if Igor Shesterkin was the number one goalie now and he said “yes”. On a day the Czar would miss the game with a lower body issue after a Jets player fell on his pads on Tuesday night, that was quite a telling bit of news.

Signs of Greatness

Lundqvist and Richter

I’ve been blessed to have seen many great Rangers goalies. Starting with John Vanbiesbrouck who manned the net with a commanding presence, to Mike Richter whose unreal athletic ability and lightning reflexes led to a Stanley Cup run in 1994 for the ages, up to Henrik Lundqvist who is arguably the best goalie in franchise history. When you sum it up, that’s 30 years of Hall of Fame netminding.

Clutch Goalie

Igor Shesterkin has lived up to the hype and is showing a little bit of all three greats in his game. David Quinn calls it “swagger” but when you break it down Igor just believes he belongs and that confidence culminates in a mix of poise and aggression that is rarely seen in young goalies. His numbers reflect that, and GAA and SV% stats aside what really matters is he’s 6-1 in 7 starts. That’s important, especially because he’s faced a large amount of shots, and he comes up with the clutch saves when the team needs them. In the end, lifting the Cup is about big stops over any other goaltending stat there is.

Here’s to another great decade of goaltending. All hail the Czar.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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