Igor Shesterkin has been the backbone of the New York Rangers since previous elite goaltender Henrik Lundqvist retired. Fans of the Blueshirts have been spoiled with world-class goalies for the last two decades, and that has not stopped with Shesterkin becoming the new Czar in net.
Today, Shesterkin is celebrating his 28th birthday as one of the best goaltenders in NHL history. He’s still young enough to make more strides throughout his career, but already during his fifth season, the elite goalie has made a strong case for one of the best of all time.
Shesterkin ranks second best in win percentage and save percentage in NHL history
Throughout his career, Shesterkin has managed to earn 113 wins in 174 total starts. He’s recorded a whopping .922 save percentage with a 2.42 GAA, further solidifying his case as one of the world’s best. To cap off his elite career stats, he’s earned 11 total shutouts and already has one Vezina Trophy to his name.
Per RangersMuse, Shesterkin ranks second best in win percentage and save percentage in NHL history among goaltenders with a minimum of 150 games played. There’s still much more hockey to be played across the remainder of his career, but if his first five seasons are anything to base his skill on, it’s safe to say that those numbers will only continue to improve throughout the next few years.
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The Rangers will look toward Shesterkin tonight against Tampa Bay
Last night, veteran backup Jonathan Quick was given the start against the Florida Panthers. Following a frustrating defeat against Florida, the Rangers will now look to bounce back the following day against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With Quick starting last night, Shesterkin will undoubtedly get the birthday start against their Eastern Conference rivals.
The Rangers need a stellar performance from Shesterkin later this evening. The Blueshirts’ offense has been elite as per usual, but the defense appeared to be a bit shaky in last night’s performance. Unless major changes have been made since the loss, Shesterkin will need to be nothing short of perfect in order for the Rangers to walk out of 2023 on a high note and seal the birthday victory.