Saturday, October 31, 2020

Igor Shesterkin takes Lundqvist’s Crown

Igor Shesterkin wasnt worried about his place at the New York Rangers despite the Alexander Giorgiev trade talks on going with The Toronto Maple Leafs.

Eventually the trade didn’t materialise due to the Rangers asking price and the Maple Leafs would end up favouring 28-year-old Jack Campbell from The Los Angeles Kings to solve their woeful goaltending problems – at least whilst starter Frederick Anderson is out injured.

The deal worked massively in the favour of the Maple Leafs with Kyle Clifford going along with Campbell in the deal as well as a third-round pick (from Columbus) in 2020 and a conditional third-round pick in 2021 in return for Trevor Moore.

Read more about how that trade went down here.

Three’s a crowd

Igor Shesterkin

That all being said, it still doesn’t solve the goaltending issues at the New York Rangers who have 3 available goalies at the minute, Henrik Lundqvist being primarily their starter in recent years is now being over shadowed by the youth and agility of Alexander Giorgiev and Igor Shesterkin and although Henrik is a hero in New York he’s clearly struggling with his game.

The now 37 year old has been the driving force of the struggling organisation for 12 years, until David Quinn took over the reigns as head coach on May 23rd 2018.

Along with a new coach the organisation announced they were going to be having a clear out and a rebuild to build a new younger team that will eventually be a playoffs contender.

David Quinn was formally head coach of Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, assistant coach at the Colorado Avalanche and head coach at Boston University.

His time spent at Boston University, Quinn coached many players that are in the NHL today such as Kevin Shattenkirk and Dylan Larkin, who all speak highly of Quinn’s coaching.

Quinn now in his 2nd season with the Rangers has made some massive improvements to a once struggling Rangers team, traded some players who the organisation felt were not part of their vision of a much younger, physical team.

Additions such Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba, Adam Fox and Brendan Lemiuex, have all added a new depth offensively and defensively to the Rangers game and going forward look like a team that could possibly make a playoffs wildcard spot.

Igor Shesterkin takes Lundqvist’s crown

The biggest problem in all of this rebuild is acquiring 2 great goalies in Alexander Giorgiev and Igor Shesterkin, this has put a lot of pressure on Henrik Lundqvist’s game and his performance has dropped massively just recently.

February 10th Quinn announced the end of the 3 goalie rotation after seeing enough, Igor Shesterkin posted a 40 plus save performance that forced Quinn to address the situation and announce Igor as the starting goalie going forwards.

Shesterkin’s numbers are undeniable as he’s stopped 196 shots out of 210 for a .933 SV%. These numbers are not new since he’s dominated everywhere he’s played. Igor been victorious in 101 of his 126 appearances in the KHL, AHL, and NHL combined. In essence, he’s earned it and David Quinn even said that the kid has got it. What is “it”? Swagger…it’s a big thing in the coach’s vocabulary.

What now for Henrik Lundqvist?

As for Lundqvist and Giorgiev only time will tell but my honest opinion is if Lundqvist’s wants to continue his career in the NHL he will need to waive his no trade clause and hope there is a struggling team looking for a goalie that is willing to take on a goalie that comes with a heavy price still attached to him.

This move by the Rangers doesn’t leave Henrik Lundqvist with many options without waiving that trade clause he has on his contract or the worst case scenario being retirement which no one wants to happen, I think he could be an asset to a struggling team for example SanJose Sharks who’s netminding has been nothing but poor in recent seasons.

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