New York Ranger fans should heed the advice of a famous quote/song that says “Love is Blind” especially when it deals with the recently promoted goalie Igor Shesterkin. The initial reaction to immediately crown the young Russian as the next great NHL goaltender might be a tad bit premature.
Shesterkin was Solid but not Outstanding for the New York Rangers
Someone will take a look at the stat sheet and say “Hey, he stopped 46 of 49 shots, how is that not outstanding?” Part of the answer has to do with the quality of shots, but the other part is that the Rangers as a team allowed the bottom-feeding New Jersey Devils to get off those 49 shots. If they allow the St. Louis Blues to get off 49 shots on Saturday night, it will not matter who you have in goal. Let’s take a look at the three goals allowed by Shesterkin. The first goal allowed was scored by Kenny Rooney shorthanded. The Rangers are supposed to be scoring shorthanded goals, not their opponents. The second tally was scored when a Devil player got away with a crosscheck on a Rangers defenseman and opened up the area in front of the net for the goal. The third goal was scored when a big scrum happened in front of the net. He even received praise from Devil’s opponent Blake Coleman who said that Shesterkin was solid but also mentioned that three goals should win NHL games on most nights. So the point really is, so Shesterkin fans don’t start losing their mind, is that you cannot expect your goaltenders to be their best if your defense does not play it’s best.
Who is the Odd Man Out for the New York Rangers
As the young phenom, let’s assume that Shesterkin will definitely stay. Unless the Rangers get blown away with a huge deal, he will stay in New York for the long term. So that leaves Henrik Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev. You would not move Lundqvist, would you? After all, Henrik has stated that he wants to finish his career as a Ranger and because of that, he has a no-move clause in his contract. So unless he waives that, the Rangers cannot move him and free up his 8.5 million dollar cap hit. The big twist in this is that Georgiev is out of options, and cannot be sent down to the AHL. So in all likelihood, Georgiev is going to be the odd man out, and will likely get traded. It would be nice to at least get some defensive help out of this because you cannot rely on Tony DeAngelo having hat-tricks with five points every game.