Ryan Strome explains New York Rangers “response” to Igor Shesterkin getting run over

If there is one player the New York Rangers can ill afford to lose it is goalie Igor Shesterkin.

That’s why it was stunning to watch the team’s MVP consistently bumped, hit, and downright steamrolled by the Florida Panthers on Monday.

The lack of a response by the Rangers was even more frustrating. That boiled over and became evident in the third period after one player took three hard whacks at a puck under Shesterkin’s pad before a whistle blew. Igor let the ref have it, but he probably should’ve let his team have it too.

Maybe he did?

The New York Rangers need to protect Shesterkin

Earlier today, head coach Gerard Gallant was asked about Shesterkin not coming out for the first star announcement.

“That was blown way out of proportion,” Gallant said. “He had the stomach flu, same as I had.”

The head coach was referencing two articles, one by Larry Brooks and the other by Arthur Staple, suggesting that the goalie was upset with being run over all game.

Forever Blueshirts has learned that there’s a ring of truth to everyone’s comments on the matter. Apparently, it’s making the rounds that Shesterkin was none too pleased with no one responding to protect him from the constant battering.

new york rangers
Nov 8, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save in the third period against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The tone was sent in the first period when Anthony Duclair came in and plowed into Shesterkin, who lost his stick on the play. He was visibly shaken but managed to recover and stay in the game.

“A few guys had some words for Duclair when he went by the bench,” Ryan Strome said. “I thought our response from the bottom six was really physical. I mean you can’t just chase around a skill guy when he’s not gonna fight anyone.”

I’m sorry, but I beg to defer.

Not only should the Rangers have immediately chased down Duclair, they probably should’ve bumped Spencer Knight to send a message.

As for the Rangers physical response, outhitting the Panthers 26-18 had more to do with not having the puck for most of the game. Florida didn’t just outshoot the Rangers, they blew them out of the water 45 to 18.

Simply put, there was no physical response. Not even single face wash from a sweaty Rangers glove to a Panthers face.

Paging Ryan Reaves

The most curious thing this season is Ryan Reaves has yet to drop the gloves once. He has played in 9 games, although it’s really 8 because he suffered an injury early in the first period against the Flames. Yet still, did anyone have on their bingo cards that one month into the season he’d be without a fighting major?

Nope, the 6-2, 225 lb enforcer with over 900 penalty minutes has played it squeaky clean.

Matter of fact, the Rangers for all that extra emphasis on grit and toughness have had just three fights. Jacob Trouba, Sammy Blais, and Jarred Tinordi are the only Blueshirts to drop the mitts this season per HockeyFights.com.

“I mean [Reaves] was yelling at [Duclair],” Strome said. ” There’s only so much you can do, but I mean I think we’ve taken matters into our own hands and been physical.”

Sorry Reavo, but yelling isn’t going to cut it.

The good news, at least according to Strome is that the Rangers have been harder to play against.

“I’ve heard from a few people around the league that they think we’re harder to play against,” he said. “They felt that, so I mean that’s a good sign and I don’t mind our response… but you know we obviously got to watch out for our goalie for sure.”

Indeed the Rangers do.

Indeed.

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