This should be the end of the Rangers’ goalie rotation

Rangers head coach David Quinn has started the season by giving each of his goaltenders a chance in net with an every other game goalie rotation. Igor Shesterkin started in the 4-0 loss to the Islanders. Just 48 hours later, Alexandar Georgiev earned a shutout in the 5-0 win against the Islanders. Georgiev played in the following 4-3 loss to the Devils and Quinn went back to Shesterkin, as the Rangers fell 4-3 in a shootout against the Sabres. Then back to Georgiev, then to Shesterkin.

You get the picture. There’s been a lot of back and forth.

Based on the confidence that Shesterkin has played with in the Rangers’ last two wins, Quinn should keep him in net going forward.

Looking at the last two games

Shesterkin stopped 39 of the 42 shots on goal he faced in Tuesday and Thursday nights’ games (16 versus Pittsburgh and 26 versus Washington).

It’s clear that Rangers’ defense has done a better job of limiting shots and preventing high-danger chances this season. However, in these games, Shesterkin handled the moments his team needed him almost flawlessly.

(via Natural Stat Trick)

Tuesday night against Pittsburgh (shown above), Shesterkin faced five high-danger shots against and made four saves, stopping all mid and low danger shots in All Situations.

(via Natural Stat Trick)

In Thursday’s game against Washington, it was more of the same. You can clearly see higher shot generation against the Rangers (and for them as well), but Shesterkin stood tall despite the added work.

There were eight high-danger chances for the Capitals in all situations. The one high-danger chance that made it past the goaltender was fluky. The puck bounced high off Carl Hagelin’s leg, over Shesterkin’s shoulder and behind him over the line.

The second goal scored by the Capitals was a mid-danger chance. Alex Ovechkin scored off a laser shot from the circle directly off a faceoff in true Ovechkin fashion.

Hard to do, equally as hard to stop when it happens.

Where to go from here

All Shesterkin needed was a couple of wins and a little consistency in starts to get back to full form. It’s still early in the season, but going forward, Igor should take the goaltending reins.

Seeing the tenacious composure revived in Shesterkin’s play, it is the perfect time to make this decision. The Rangers arenow off until Monday due to the Covid outbreak on the Devils roster. It will be good to see how he looks with a few days rest.

If Quinn continues to be wishy washy about the situation, it will only prevent either of the goaltenders from getting comfortable. Comfort is key, so the Rangers goalie rotation should end.

There are still back-to-backs and other opportunities where Georgiev can take some of the load (especially in games against the Islanders since he is always stellar against them). These games are where Georgiev can prove to those looking for a new starting goaltender that he’s ready to make the leap.

We know Shesterkin is the long-term guy, and now that he’s playing like it, it’s time to let him step in and become the Rangers next franchise goaltender.

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  • In a compressed season like this, it’s critical to give the starting goalie (Igor) an occasional rest. I’m glad we still Have Georgiev here.

    • In my mind, it all depends. If Georgiev gets 25 starts, the Rangers likely don’t make the playoffs. OTOH, I think the Rangers could have made he playoffs if Shesty started all 56.

      I like Georgiev and think he can give Igor valuable rest, but if Quinn is going to overuse him, I’d rather he were not there.

  • Off-topic, but a good opportunity to note the silver lining of Mika getting a rest too — he’s looked like he could use it — without him having to stay out of the lineup.

    • i had covid last april. being 71 was scary didnt stay at a hospital.
      i tired quickly. wasnt myself til july. he is young and strong but im sure he is not 100 percent.

      • Agreed – I made a similar post myself earlier on another thread – took me 8-10 weeks to regain my strength as well. I still believe you cant play through the effects of COVID – you just need to rest a and take it slow,

  • I don’t believe that there is any doubt that Igor is the number 1 net minder. But he will need rest during the compressed season. So, it will be important to Georgiev sharp too. It is a balancing act, no doubt.

    No, I do not see any reason to trade Georgiev at this time. He is insurance.

  • Playing an every other night schedule will wear out your starter and promote risk of injury. Considering the options in Hartford, that’s not a good idea.

    You alternate starts until you get 2 days off, then you go to Igor and repeat.

  • Mika looks like he’s suffering from Covid aftereffects. Just lethargic out there. Even his facial expressions don’t look good. He’s such a good guy and team player. I had it and I can speak to it. It takes a bit to get over.

    • Yeah, they posted a bunch of headshots of the players recently, and Mika looked way out of it.

  • 56 out of 59 total shots, not 39 out of 42.

    Both fans and commentators need to stop judging players every 3-4 games as if it defines their overall capabilities. Do I think Shesty is and will be the #1, yes … do I think Georgiev shouldn’t get his games in and be allowed to compete for the #1 moniker, no.

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