The Rangers won their second in a row last night against a playoff team (third in a row overall), which bodes well for the club as they look to put their rut behind them. One of the key culprits of that rut was goaltending, specifically Igor Shesterkin. It wasn’t good, and Igor was getting beaten high glove far too often. With Jonathan Quick starting, the lazy narrative was there was a Rangers goalie controversy.
While watching last night’s game, it was hard to ignore the broadcast bringing up Quick in goal and Igor on the bench each period. It made sense to briefly discuss when they had Henrik Lundqvist in the booth. After all, he’s one of the best goalies of all time, and his successor was struggling. That made sense to discuss at the time. After all, Lundqvist saw his backups start several games in a row while he worked with Benoit Allaire.
The problem was the broadcast brought up Quick in net and Igor on the bench multiple times, even suggesting that Shesterkin was the new backup. The national broadcast was manufacturing a Rangers goalie controversy that simply doesn’t exist. There is no Rangers goalie controversy. Shesterkin is the starter.
As noted yesterday, Quick starting both games was part of the plan. It gave Igor dedicated non-game time to work with Benny on his issues. That requires video review, statistical review, and practice to work through what appears to be a high glove concern. This also gives Shesterkin a mental reset, something we know he needed. Goalies are very hard on themselves.
Given how well Quick has been playing, we may actually see him start on Friday in Chicago as well. The Rangers goalie controversy talks, which again are silly, will only intensify if that occurs, but the benefits far outweigh the distractions. The goal is for Igor to return to form for the playoffs, which is all that matters. He masks a lot of issues the Rangers have by simply being a good goalie, and not a below average goalie, which he has been for the last month or so.
There is no Rangers goalie controversy, despite what that sham of a broadcast was saying last night. Igor Shesterkin is the starter. Jonathan Quick is the backup. That’s it. End of story.