Shesterkin Continues to Show How Valuable He Is to the Blueshirts’ Success

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It may be early on in the 2023-24 NHL campaign, but the New York Rangers do not look bad under new head coach Peter Laviolette.

As of this writing (Tuesday, October 17th), the team is 2-1, thanks to wins over the Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes. They should really be 3-0, but they dropped a game to a team they should have won against in a 5-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, October 14th.

The team’s offense has been solid, the team has been aggressive in both zones, they are blocking a lot of shots, and, more importantly, they appear to be getting comfortable in playing Laviolette’s style. Yes, the Rangers have yet to play an upper-echelon team, but all that matters is winning hockey games.

One player on this hockey club that has helped accomplish that is their All-Star goaltender, Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin, 27, is 2-1 with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.

In his team’s first game of the season on Thursday night, October 12th, a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, Shesterkin made things look very easy. He did not give up many rebounds; he put pucks to the corners and stopped 24 of 25 shots for his 100th career victory. Yes, it was an easy win, but Shesterkin did what he had to do to get his team off on the right foot.

It was Shesterkin’s play in his team’s 2-1 home-opening victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night, October 16th, that really stood out and showed just how much Shesterkin means to this hockey club. For starters, he came up with several big saves.

When the game was on the line, Shesterkin was there to clean up any messes that his teammates created. This was especially the case late in the third period when the team was clinging to a 2-1 lead, and Coyotes forward Jason Zucker was awarded a penalty shot.

Shesterkin stymied Zucker with his blocker to keep the score at 2-1. It is these kinds of saves that show the Rangers and their fans that with him between the pipes, they can go a long way.

Secondly, Shesterkin also showed that he can bounce back after a tough game. In his team’s 5-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, October 14th, Shesterkin was not at his best as he stopped 16 of 21 shots and was the culprit of a few of the goals against.

He did not carry his poor play from Saturday night into his team’s 2-1 victory over Arizona. Instead, he stopped 26 of 27 shots and was the main reason why the Blueshirts were able to come away with two points.

Lastly, Shesterkin showed that he will always stick up for his teammates. At the final buzzer, there was a scrum off to the side of the net, and when Shesterkin saw Coyotes’ defenseman Matt Dumba approaching, he came out of his net and grabbed onto Dumba to hold him back from getting at his teammates.

Shesterkin did it all for his team against the Coyotes, and it is nights like that that show just how much Shesterkin means to this hockey club and how important he is to their success moving forward. 

Guest Bill Pidto : 2024 NYR Playoff Preview Ranting Rangers: A New York Rangers Podcast

In this NYR playoffs preview, Bill Pidto from MSG Networks comes on to preview the Ranger going into the playoffs and series preview vs Capitals.In this weeks episode, we discuss Chytil potentially returning, Presidents Trophy, Panarin, analysis going into the playoffs and more.For more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Guest Bill Pidto : 2024 NYR Playoff Preview
  2. Chyting Up For Playoffs
  3. Guest Jack : Playoffs on the Horizon
  4. All Time High Vibes
  5. Guest Josh Khalfin

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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