When we talk about the New York Rangers’ best player, it’s Igor Shesterkin. We can talk about Artemi Panarin, we can talk about Mika Zibanejad, we can talk about Adam Fox, and we can talk about anyone else. It’s Igor Shesterkin. I don’t think that is a controversial opinion. Shesterkin is the New York Rangers’ success. He was excellent in this postseason and he was the only reason this series went to Game Seven.
If the Russian shot-stopper would have done anything more than what he did, he would have been scoring goals. He’s wanted in New Jersey for several counts of Grand Larceny as it is because he was so special for the New York Rangers. If it isn’t for New York’s netminder, this series could have been over really quickly. It’s because of his performances that they were able to get to Game Seven, where Igor stood on his head again.
Igor had a .931 save percentage this postseason. That is cartoony. For every 100 shots against him, he stopped 93 of them. New Jersey was getting 7 goals per 100 shots. That does not begin to put into perspective how good the Blueshirts’ backstop was. According to Natural Stat Trick, he had a .918 save percentage on high-danger chances alone. There are goaltenders that won’t reach .918 at all and he’s doing it from just grade goal-scoring chances.
This was a dark postseason but the sparkling light in the net seems to forever be present. Igor has been one of the best netminders in the NHL for the last two seasons, but to see him back performing at the Vezina-caliber level he was playing at last season and being one of the best goaltenders in the history of the National Hockey League statistically is a strong positive to take from this season.