Rangers: Igor Shesterkin reaches personal milestone after opening night victory

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) looks for the puck during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are coming off a dominating season opener to begin the 2023-24 campaign. Many players excelled, as eight different skaters recorded points. The offense and the defense were buzzing, and the goaltending remained elite as usual.

Igor Shesterkin had a phenomenal game in net, appearing to already be in mid-season form. This 5–1 win will certainly be followed by many other elite performances, but this victory was significantly special for Shesterkin.

Shesterkin records 100th career win in the 2023-24 season opener

In the Rangers’ blowout victory last night, Shesterkin officially reached his 100th career win. In the game, the superstar goaltender only allowed one goal on 25 shots against. This provided Shesterkin with a save percentage of .960 to start the season. He now has a career record of 100-42-15, an incredible stat line, maintaining his title as one of the best goalies in the NHL.

Winning is no surprise from Shesterkin. It was obvious that he would reach this milestone this season as he finished the 2022-23 campaign with 99 wins, but it’s satisfying to see it become official. Per RangersMuse, the only goalie to have a higher career winning percentage with a minimum of 150 games played is Ken Dryden, a Hall of Fame goalie with six Stanley Cups to his name.

Shesterkin ranks eighth all-time on the Rangers’ win list

Heading into the 2023-24 season, Shesterkin currently ranks eighth on the Rangers’ all-time win list. He surpassed Gilles Villemure last year, who finished his career with 98 victories. There’s a high probability that Shesterkin will move even farther up the list this season, as he only needs to secure 23 more wins to tie Chuck Rayner for seventh.

Shesterkin earned a career-high 37 wins last season. His win totals have increased in every season he’s played in, and there’s hope he can set a new personal record this year. As a top goaltender in the league, there’s no doubt that Shesterkin will gradually continue to climb this list.

“The 27-year-old netminder went 37-13-8 last season with a .916 save percentage and 2.48 GAA. Shesterkin should see a heavy workload again this year — he’ll likely be back between the pipes Saturday when the Rangers visit the Blue Jackets.”

via CBS Sports

Where will Shesterkin finish at the end of his career?

The Rangers’ number one all-time win leader is NHL Hall of Fame goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Throughout his career, Lundqvist won a whopping 459 games. It’d be a hard feat to reach, but Shesterkin could make a push for that title.

Shesterkin is already 27 years old, and will probably be in the NHL for about another decade. Lundqvist retired at 39 years old, but his abilities unfortunately started to dwindle towards the end of his career. If Shesterkin averages around 35 wins per season for the ten years, he can come very close to Lundqvist’s record. He’ll need to maintain his skills through the test of time, but it’s certainly possible.

Realistically, Shesterkin will probably finish second or third on this list. Rangers’ legend Mike Richter sits at number two with 301 wins, giving Shesterkin a real shot at moving into that position. An important factor will be ensuring the Rangers can keep their star goalie around for that long, but it would be foolish for the Blueshirts to ever consider moving on from Shesterkin.

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