NY Rangers Midseason Grades: The Goalies

Only two players to grade here!

Continuing with our midseason grades (top-six, bottom-six, defense), let’s take a look at the goalies. This is the only position, as of Game 41, that wasn’t a revolving door. It’s amazing how everything changes in two days, with the Rangers now carrying three goalies and Alex Georgiev being a healthy scratch for two days.

Henrik Lundqvist

The generational talent is nearing the end of his contract, but it may not be the end of his career. Hank has been the focus of a lot of hate for….reasons? His blanket GAA (3.10) and SV% (.910) numbers aren’t anything special on the surface, but then you remember how historically bad the Rangers were to start the season, and then the numbers need more context. We need to factor in quality and workload.

We see here that Hank faces by far the highest quality of shots against (his bar is the deepest red), yet he’s still near the top of this list. This indicates that he is still playing well above his expected performance.

This last one shows how both Hank and Georgiev are performing when factoring in quantity and quality. Hank is again up there in hardest work faced, but is performing way above expectations. He may be 38 years old, but he’s still got it. Shesterkin is the near and almost immediate future, but Hank is still The King. Grade: A-

Alex Georgeiv

Georgiev had a great stretch of games where he was nearly unbeatable. He stopped something close to 112 of 120 shots or something absurd like that. Beyond that, Georgiev has been rather pedestrian. Both is GAA (3.17) and SV% (.909) are worse than Hank. He’s struggled mightily at times, but again this needs context.

Georgiev does face a very high quality and quantity of shots, but his performance relative to that isn’t breaking even. Per the above he ranks around 16th among backup goalies in xGSAA, which when you factor in that ridiculous stretch of greatness he had, is troubling.

Using the four quadrant chart from above, Georgiev also gets one of the heaviest workloads in the game. However he’s on the left side of break even, meaning he’s drowning in the workload and it is impacting him. It is worth noting that the xGSAA difference between him and Hank is abut 0.4, so over the course of the season this may even out. It also may not. But as of 41 games into the season, Hank is outperforming Georgiev. Grade: B

Igor Shesterkin

Two games played, but he looked good in both. Still an incomplete though.

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  • Hmmm…after reading this, I’ve converted to the trade Georgiev and keep Hank camp. Sorry for ever doubting the throne.

  • I know he has carried this franchise forever, but we don’t need another Manning debacle here. Hank is a pro and will soon ask to play more….Igor has to take over the reigns…..but if I’m placing a bet…it’s Georgiev that is being moved.

    • you right we dont need another Mannin,Hank still has it, they just trying to see if Igor is the real thing and i think he is,come.crunch time Hank will be there that’s for sure

  • The early returns seem to indicate that Shesty is the future and not Georgiev.

    As for the guy in the way of both, Lundqvist is in the sixth year of a $60M seven year contract. He has gotten the Rangers into the playoffs three times, is 3-3 in playoff series, 18-18 in playoff games and 1-1 in playoff game sevens. His W-L record has been significantly below that of other tenders on the Rangers during that stretch.

    He may still be a great player, but that greatness has not translated to even the slightest benefit to the Rangers over the length of this contract.

    Why does he face so many shots that are “theoretically” hard year after year? Pick an explanation and see what it means

    The defense is positioned the way he likes it. (he gets the shots he wants and not the shots theoreticians want)
    He doesn’t help his defense. (again demerits)
    The team just plays better for the backups (he doesn’t elevate his team)
    The analysts don’t know a hard shot from an easy one.

    On the last point, it is hard to assess shot difficulty as it depends on location, speed, screening, time available to shooter, quality of shooter, harassment by the defender. Two shots from the same place – the first with the defender positioning himself to the side so that the shooter can only shoot at the left side of the net, goalie can see this and has less to defend, the second defender completely blocks the defender and the shot will come through the defender’s legs – very hard to defend. it is better tp give Michael Haley five shots than Ovechkin one – do the metrics agree with this, I doubt it.

    • He also makes a lot of uncontrolled saves that lead to another save that’s usually spectacular. Great goalie but the boat is sailing and maybe he’s holding up rebuild. I laughed the last 2 games , one was on NBCS where milbury and company were talking what team he should go to and the NHL network doing the same the other night. They pick Colorado … lol


    • Here is a post from Ray on the goal recap article on the devils game when defending Georgiev

      To Richter,

      Metrics are a fiction. Goaltending is about winning, GAA, and save percentage.

      3.10 – GAA / 910 S%
      3.17 – GAA / 909 S%

      So the advanced stats and “Rays Stats” both say Hank is the better goalie. See Rays post above for his “new” reasoning why Georgiev is better.

      Hank is the choice for no other reason other than he has a NMC and has consistently said he isnt going anywhere. Georgiev, if he has true trade value, needs to be traded. He is nothing but our future back up. The Czar is the future

      • I did not say above that Georgiev is better.

        “Hank is the choice for no other reason other than he has a NMC and has consistently said he isnt going anywhere.”

        This sentence is just as true if you change the word Hank to Staal — and then no one will agree. If Shesterkin is decidedly better than Hank – and the evidence is that he very well may be – you don’t bench him just because someone has an NMC.

      • Thank you for your feelings on the matter. 🙂

        But seriously, the stats, both underlying and traditional, prove that Hank still has it.

        I keep pointing out the fact that be a clear starter vs being a back up is like night and day. When Georgiev played 6 out of 8 games, his stats suffered.

        It’s not rocket science. Raanta, since being traded, cannot stay healthy. I wonder why.

  • Corsica hockey has hank ranked 36 and Georgiev ranked 17

    So let’s alter the grades based on machine learning algos and cost VS results Cs whatever that is that you posted.

    Georgiev A – as a backup posting starter numbers at a mere fraction of the 8 million , value for stat he gets an A. Trade bait or future backup. Wonderful reflexes and very good positioning.

    Lundquist – being a top 3 paid goalie and turning in numbers that barely qualify for all star status. C. That’s all you get hank. He didn’t get better but has slowly declined. Slowly declining veteran that can’t handle rebounds, can’t pass, can’t slide across the crease with any grace and has failed at the highest stages of competition in his career. He is also the reason we will have problems with signing important future players , bought out shattenkirk, bridged tony d, and are considering trading Kreider. For the life of me I don’t know why people like a person that is holding his franchise hostage with his contract

    Shesterkin – A++. With an amazing glove hand superior side to side reflexes and the ability to actually pass the puck. Igor gets the grade , and he is undefeated in the nhl. The future starter

  • Seeing is believing. Even with the additional bad goals this year, Hank is still performing at near elite levels, based on the crap his team allows to come his way.

    I don’t know why Ranger fans continue to trash him. I really don’t.

  • I love Hank, this team has crap defense most of the time. ill be sad to see him go, he still has some gas in the tank.
    enjoy the time he has left. Igor has it, we are very lucky.

  • A goalie with a .910 save percentage is not elite. You guys are still living in the past when Lundqvist was the king netminder.

    • “A goalie with a .910 save percentage is not elite”

      So, you mean that all SOG are the same? That if you save 9 out of 10 SOG then the quality of those shots are irrelevant?

      • Year after year we hear the same “he faces harder shots” or the “Rangers defencemen are crappy” arguements to defend Lundqvists below league average play. Yet he faces the same shooters as all the other netminders in the NHL and his backup who plays behind the same “crappy defence” consistently put up better numbers then he does.
        The Rangers are in the long process of rebuilding there entire hockey club. Maybe the first place they should of started was between the pipes,

        • Saying you don’t want Hank here and saying that Hank is not playing well are 2 different things.

          The stats clearly show that Hank has continued, basically from the start of his career until today, to face more premium shots than most other goalies in the league. That he has been good for at least one goal per game less than the average NHL goalie, over his career.

          The Rangers just gave up almost 50 SOG (that does not include the other shot attempts) against the freaking, God awful Devs. And that’s without Jack Hughes.

          Practically every game, David posts the charts that show where the shots are coming from, which is generally right in front of the Rangers’ goal.

          I get that you think he should be gone, for rebuilding reasons, but you are wrong in saying that he is not playing at a high level any more. All the underlying stats that adjust for shot quality against back this up. Because all SOG are not the same as it relates to quality.

          • Richter, I applaud you for continuing the fight with the Hank Haters. Reason appears not to matter to them.

            Here’s a question for you Bloomer—did you know that Hank’s SV% from age 35 on matches up with Dominik Hasek’s last 5 years in the NHL? As well as Martin Brodeur? And those guys played on nothing but good teams compared to Hank. Hasek won 2 Cups after his 37th year. His SV% was .915 and .902 respectively in those seasons. But I guess those guys were overpaid garbage holding back the development of an expensive roster as well.

          • FQ, I mean I don’t know what to say anymore. I have my opinion but the stats back up the opinion. That should be enough to win the day.

  • It’s unfair to judge Lundqvist and Georgiev with Marc “The Turtle” Staal on the Ranger defense. I wish the Rangers got rid of Staal and have Nicklas Grossman take Staal’s spot when they had the chance before that dipshit Sather signed Staal to that asinine contract.

      • And one eye. That injury affected him permanently and turned him from a good player into a shell of what he was. His on-ice vision became horrendous, he went from being a decent passer and puckhandler to being a liability with the puck. His defensive stickwork was great when he came into the league, after the eye injury he lost much of that ability.

        The concussions robbed Staal of his physicality. He became a very passive player. Add in the speed lost with age and you have a barely serviceable third pairing defenseman. It’s a shame what happened to his career.

  • Hank is not performing at elite levels anymore. Fanbase is enamored with him and understandable, but Hank is not an elite anymore…Fans have to stop with this Hank stuff….It’s time for the changing of the guard……Igor time….

    • I dont think to many people are arguing that Hank is elite anymore. Just that he is the better option for the next two years than Georgiev. The Czar is the future no matter what.

      • As long as Benoit Allaire is here, I have faith in any goalie that plays for the Rangers.

        Benoit is the person that the Rangers can ill afford to lose.

  • As a few of us have pointed out many times before, Hank is going to be playing for the Rangers at least through the end of his contract. The guy loves NYC, and the city loves him. He will obviously remain with the Rangers in some capacity once his playing career is over. He is not going anywhere, so the debate really should be about how to best utilize him in his final seasons.

  • At this point, I just hope they resolve the 3-goalie system quickly. Unfortunately for Georgiev, I think they’re gonna move him. Georgiev has played very well, and it’s been his crease this season for the most part. But it’s another awkward situation that if left unchecked, could lead to someone packing their bags, quitting, and crying in some newspaper that he felt he earned his spot in NY.

    (…it’s happened twice already in about 4 months)

    • That’s a ridiculous assumption. Georgiev doesn’t seem like anything but a good soldier for this team. And the Tsar isn’t going anywhere.

  • Lias Andersson told the NYR and JD: “Don’t call me, I’ll call you when I am ready.”
    Yes, it’s all NYR and JD and DQ’s fault, Andersson can do no wrong in BSB bloggers’ eyes.
    BSB bloggers need to come back to reality: Lias Andersson is maybe the worst draft bust in the NYR history.
    Wouldn’t this be a good blog for Dave:”Ranking of the worst draft choices NYR ever made…”

    • Hey Larry: in your typically trollish and dimwitted analysis you’ve neglected players who are bigger busts than Andersson:

      Hugh Jessiman
      Pavel Brendl
      Jamie Lundmark
      Dylan McIlrath
      Dan Blackburn

      Andersson would maybe rank above McIlrath as a bust, but that’s about it. Your criticism of the kid is tiresome as hell, we get it, you hate the guy and are gleeful that he’s failed. Enjoy your bitterness.

      • You are wrong. I don’t hate Lias Andersson as a person nor as a player, I just feel everyone, well almost everyone, sees this kid doesn’t have enough talent to play in NHL, but BSB writers penciled him in as 2C behind Zib day in and day out since the day he was drafted, for Lias Andersson who had 9 points in 66 NHL games and 0 G, 1 ASST in 17 games this season. When bloggers are not objective even though they pretend to be, they aren’t authentic any more to their readers.

        If you, Far Queue or whatever the name you have, wants to comment, fine…but I don’t appreciated your condescending tone and calling me names left and right. Who are you to judge me here? Go to your bathroom if you have one, and look in the mirror…You are nobody, just like me.

        • Larry, Lias might never make in the NHL. The scouts liked his game that they saw him play for Sweden, I never ‘penciled him in’ anywhere, saying we need to see the kid, if given an opportunity, rises to the occasion. However, while his opportunity wasn’t all it might have been, he also has not made the most of what he got. When it came to adjusting to the smaller rinks in North America, suddenly his skating became an issue because of a lack of explosiveness. That is, to me the real story. He tried like hell to improve his skating, working with trainers ever since he came to the states. It hasn’t worked out. He may never see the NHL and might end up playing hockey in Sweden.

          That is fine, sometimes that happens. Lias isn’t the first kid chosen in the first round who has failed. He isn’t the first kid who feels shortchanged. Some of that might be justified, some of that might not be. We certainly have not been privy to all what transpired. So, I am not going to critique what I don’t know. I just hope that he is able to reach whatever potential he might have and play somewhere and be happy doing it.

          One thing that is often overlooked is that by choosing Lias, who the scouts thought to be ready to play in the NHL at #7, they were able to go big and reach for a very young Chytil at #23. That has worked out rather well.

          • Peter, I understand your points here. I was excited to see Andersson playing in NHL games after he was drafted, then I realized this kid can’t skate, can’t shoot, can’t pass, can’t check…he doesn’t have any above avg NHL hockey skills, next year he is the same and this year he still doesn’t have any improvements, and some fans blame DQ to put Andersson on the 4th line and give him limited ice time…well, if he plays better, I am sure DQ will move Andersson, 7th pick of 1st round, up to 3rd maybe 2nd line and give him more ice time and responsibilities, but not only the coaches but the casual fans like me also notice that Andersson can’t play. I just don’t understand why anyone in their right minds would ever want Andersson to be the 2C for the NYR, maybe they think Andersson deserves to be the 2C because he was drafted 7th, unfortunately you need to earn you mins in NHL.

            I think the scouts who recommended to draft Andersson at 7th should be fired, yesterday.

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