At the beginning of the summer camp, New York Rangers head coach David Quinn said that all three goaltenders would be evaluated as to who would start when the Blueshirts take on the Carolina Hurricanes when play resumes on Aug 1. After about a week into camp, it appears that one of the goaltenders has separated himself from the pack.
Shesterkin is the likely starting goalie for the New York Rangers
Recently, reports out of camp indicate that Igor Shesterkin will likely be the number one goalie when the season resumes.
The other piece of good news is that it is not like the other two goalies, Henrik Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev, lost the job.
Lundqvist played an entire scrimmage Sunday, winning 5-3 against a team that used Shesterkin and Georgiev, as all three have been solid since the Rangers resumed practices.
It is more than likely a case where Shesterkin has picked up where he left off when the season was paused, with himself as the number one goalie, Lundqvist as the backup, and Georgiev the odd man out.
However, nothing has been set in stone yet. Quinn has indicated that he will use Monday’s off-day to re-assess the situation. “I’ve liked what I’ve seen from all of them at some point in time. It’s a battle,” Quinn said. “I think we’re going to probably have a conversation here. After a week now that we’ve [been] practicing, I think it’s a good time to kind of reassess where we’re at and take it from there.”
During his interview, Shesterkin had nothing but praise for the other two goalies competing for the job. Obviously, watching Henrik, you see the work ethic,” Shesterkin said. “It’s an unbelievable crazy work ethic, and I tried to reach that level of watching him and [Georgiev], who also has an unbelievable work ethic every day. I’m learning things every day, I’m looking at details, but I’m not going to tell you what I learned.”
Shesterkin is fully healthy and has been working out with a trainer while he and his wife were staying in Florida during the quarantine period. The Shesterkin’s had a very good reason why they did not return home to Russian during the pause. We remained in the U.S.,” Shesterkin said. “We had problems with registering our dog for the flight (to Russia). We didn’t want to check the dog into the luggage compartment so we had to stick around and ended up spending that time in Miami and we were very happy that we made that decision.”
This also allowed Shesterkin some time to skate with other NHL players, including Alex Ovechkin, something that Shesterkin said was “a very positive, great experience.”
The only remaining roadblock to having Shesterkin start in the net is that Lundqvist has a solid track record against the Hurricanes, posting stats of 24-4-0, 1.73, .947 during a stretch in which the Rangers have won 31 of 37 meetings. This is in addition to his 128 career playoff games, compared to zero by the other two goalies.
Even if Shesterkin wins the job, he may be on a short leash.
Regardless, if Shesterkin is named the starter, will benefit him and the Rangers for years to come by gaining this first bit of playoff experience.