Some thoughts on goaltending

alex georgiev
Codie McLachlan/Getty Images North America

As we head into training camp, the prevailing thought is that Alex Georgiev will backup Henrik Lundqvist in net. It’s an easy conclusion to draw, since he and Dustin Tokarski are really the only guys with NHL experience that will be at camp.

For most of the summer, I thought the Rangers would bring in a veteran backup for Lundqvist. It wasn’t necessarily about winning games, but it was ensuring Georgiev would have a buffer if his game disappeared. It also ensures Lundqvist gets a rest, something that, as he gets older, is going to be brought into the spotlight.

Tokarski hasn’t seen steady NHL time in a few seasons, so if he’s the insurance policy, then it might be a little bumpy in games that Hank doesn’t start. That’s a big ‘if’ though, since Tokarski probably isn’t going to get much NHL time. Georgiev was solid in his limited NHL time, and perhaps that was enough to convince management that he was ready for a backup role.

What this plan doesn’t cover is injury insurance, specifically long term injuries. If the Rangers are put in a position where Tokarski is on the NHL roster –due to an injury to one of Hank or Georgiev– then the cupboard is pretty bare. Brandon Halverson isn’t much of an option, neither is Chris Nell.

I imagine the Rangers are going to try to get ahead of this concern. I’m expecting some kind of PTO at camp. But even if there isn’t, it’s a problem that can be rectified midseason with a minor trade or a wavier wire pickup. If/When that comes to fruition, we are still looking at a heavy dose of Georgiev this season. That’s not a bad thing, assuming his play last season wasn’t just a small sample size.

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  • IMO, the Rangers will go with these 3 and address getting another goaltender if they need to during the year. It’s not like there won’t be any available.

    Again, without the Rangers coming out and saying it, this is a developmental season, and let the chips fall where they may win/loss wise from there. It’s about getting the most out of their young players to move forward.

    • The Rangers management have came out and said the opposite of what you say here. I believe more in going by the actions of the team and what the GM has told the press within 1-2 months ago. It answers questions like about how the chips fall? That’s why they went out and got Tokarsi because if he ends up beating someone like Georgiev who we all thought that could hold down a backup role than so be it. That’s how you watch a chip fall in it’s rightful place. If it ends up being Georgiev winning a roster than it’s because he earned it, not for development purposes. The narrative of being about the season being for the kids development this season far from the truth or any actions that I have seen so far.

      JG: “At the same time, though, if a player is going to be in NHL, he has to earn it. We’re not giving anyone a spot just to show that our kids are developing. We’re operating under a merit system.” If that doesn’t scream something to you than I don’t know what will lol.

      Richter1994, there comes a time when we need to go more by the horses mouth than June-July pillow talk. This is why JG never pulled the plug on either Zib or Hayes yet. This is why Hank is still around and believes in this team. Most importantly, this is why coach Quinn talks about surprising the league and making the playoffs. All those big names know that the roster will have 70-85% vets in the lineup. If a kid is up here than it’s because they earn a right to rock a NYR jersey. They would not do Hank like that no way on gods green earth would Hank sign off on that.

      • Bro, I agree their actions speak a lot louder than words. But if what you say is true, then Mason or Lehtonen would have been signed, not Tokarski, a guy that hasn’t played in a couple of years in the NHL.

        Besides, what do you EXPECT them to say? “We suck, don’t bother coming to the games!!” lol, they’re having trouble selling tickets as it is.

        • This may be one of those situations where management is giving a kid more lean way to make the roster. I’m not doubting that they wouldn’t put their hands in some kind of roster battles. It would help the certain individual earn it while still giving him competition to work around as well a new protege for Allaire to have if things fall through. Knowing that a guy like Mason would easily get picked up if a no name like Georgiev beat him and forced him to play in the minors. My overall comment with the JG quote was directed at your thoughts of this season becoming a developmental season. There’s roster spots open in the bottom 6, but that’s a 180 in thinking that they would claim top 6 roles so they could ” develope ” right there and than.

          Quinn did express that he won’t be to keen on mistakes in the second of the season. He would handle the problem with more brute force in his decision of the individual who would keep on making the same mistakes. That told me that he expects a roster with well over 60% being vets to rely on.

  • Goal tending should be ok. Not mush after Hank but Georgiev should get a shot. I will say this after the Pacioretty trade. We sure got a haul for Rick Nash..wow…not even a 1st in that deal…

    • Eh, Suzuki was a first rounder just in 2017. Tatar is signed for another 3 years at a reasonable cap hit and a 2nd rounder too. All for Max who is on an expiring contract this year. I actually don’t think it’s a bad deal for either side, pretty fair. Vegas is probably thinking Max will take over for the loss of Neal.

      I do agree with you about getting a haul for Nash. I think considering Nash’s age, and his injury history, we still got a lot out of that deal. That was for sure a good job by JG.

    • I want Georgiev to get it but he has to flat out earn it. Management is making the NYR fanbase stronger by preaching competition in camp and earning the right to become a full time with the Rangers.

      Every deal has been either a steal or above average return for the Rangers in the last couple of years. I would say that the Stepan deal was the one bad exception but I can’t blame JG to much for that one. It’s hard to take a flyer out on a 6.5 cap hit center who will play on the top line and PP and score less than 20 goals per season ( most likely ). Teams don’t make a frenzy for guys like that unless your a better version like ROR was.

  • Max P is a player and will help VGK. Not clear what direction MTL is headed in.

    As for our goaltending, all is well if Hank and Georgiev together play 76 games. If that combo plays less, then we have some problems.

    • Dave is either unaware of the fact that Mazanec is on the roster or that Mazanec has played 31 NHL games (nearly as many as Tokarski).

      Rather than want a PTO, the Rangers have no place for a fifth tender. Mazanec and Tokarski will take up the two spots in Hartford. They may have to loan out one of Halverson or Nell just to get them playing time.

      • Or Dave is very much aware of the fact that maybe Beniot Allaire will decide between Tokarski and Georgiev in training camp and Mazanec is not being looked at for a place on the NYR roster, but that only of Hartford.

        With a second goalie coach it would not be shocking in the least to see Tokarski stay here and work with Allaire (who doesn’t travel in the organization, just stays with the big club) and see Georgiev return to Hartford with Mazanec and work with the goalie coach there.

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    The usual websites with this issue(I get that y’all need ads, just not this kind) at as follows:


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