The New York Rangers have a goaltending issue

Jan 19, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) plays the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 19, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) plays the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) : Mandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports
New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) : Mandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports /

Alexandar “The Not So Great”

Two seasons ago the New York Rangers decided to stick with Georgiev when they opted to buy out Henrik Lundqvist. This decision showed faith in young Bulgarian goaltender. In the five seasons with the club, Georgiev has rewarded that faith with a career .908% save percentage and  50 wins in 119 games played. On the surface these numbers reflect a competent backup goaltender. However, a deeper look into the statistics reveals a troublesome trend.

Since debuting at the end of the 2017-18 season, Georgiev has been called upon to start in stretches to relieve the starter nine times. This has been due to rest, injury and to be given a chance to make the crease his. During these stretches Georgiev has posted a combined 22-6-4 record with a .947% save percentage and three shutouts while surrendering just 62 goals in 36 appearances.

A tale of two goaltenders

These are phenomenal numbers. Unfortunately, all good things must come to end. Each of these stellar streaks ended with exceptionally poor results as he surrendered the net back to either Lundqvist or Shesterkin. In these games Georgiev recorded a lowly 2-5-1 record with a  disastrous .858% save percentage while surrendering 34 goals in just eight games.

The remaining balance of his games played can be characterized as spot starts and/or relief appearances, which are the bread and butter for a backup. In these 75 games Georgiev has posted a save percentage of just .892% while giving up 224 goals. Upon this below the surface look it would be tough to call Georgiev a quality backup.

That said, what these numbers also show is that with a larger workload, Georgiev has the potential to be an effective starter. But, with Lundqvist previously and Shesterkin now, that will not be with the New York Rangers. Where remains to be seen.