The New York Rangers have started the 2023-2023 NHL season with a bang. In August, if you would have told me that the Blueshirts would be in First Place in the Meto Division on November 09.2023, I would have laughed. It’s not that I don’t think the Rangers are a good team. It’s more about the Canes and Jersey being younger, faster, and hungrier than NYR at this time of the year.
Everyone knows that USA Thanksgiving is fast approaching. As fun as that day is, eating Turducken, drinking bevies, and watching football, it is also a barometer for the NHL. What do I mean by this? Stats show that, those NHL teams in a Playoff spot, on USA Thanksgiving, have a 78% chance of making the Playoffs. As of right now the Rangers are in…Awesome.
So far, the Rangers have shown us they can play a Rock-Solid game for 60 minutes. They can win on the road as well as at home. And they can put the puck in the net, as well as keep it out.
So, with Shesterkin on the shelf, (he was injured in the Canes game and is currently listed as day-today) his primary focus is obviously on getting healthy. He should also be focused on Turkey Day.
And this is where we need to focus on. Keeping the puck out of the New York Rangers net from here until USA Thanksgiving Day and beyond. We all know that Shesterkin is the straw that stirs the drink in New York. As he goes, so too do the Rangers chances of ending their current 29-year Stanley Cup drought.
It’s not 54 years, but I sure can see it from here. 1994 was so much fun, let’s do it again boys.
6 Wins -Ties 2nd overall in the NHL (which is 67% of the NYR wins-9)
.913 Save % – 24th overall in the NHL.
2.36 Goals Against Average – 13th overall in the NHL
Now, don’t get me wrong, I will take 9 New York Ranger wins and First Place in the Metro, any day of the week. I know Shersterkin is currently injured. Given the time of year, I also understand that the above is a small sample size. However, the stats do tell a little story.
Here is a stat package of the Top 6 Goalies in the NHL, as of Jan 20, 2022.
Note: Shesterkin Won the Vezina in 2022. (Best Goalie Regular Season)
Goalie Team Team=W’s Wins % of Team W’s Save% GAA
Vasilevskiy TB 27 23 0.8519 0.923 2.20
Jarry Pit 23 19 0.8261 0.928 2.08
Campbell Tor 24 19 0.7917 0.927 2.24
Anderson Caro 26 20 0.7692 0.930 1.99
Markstrom Clg 18 13 0.7222 0.926 2.18
Shesterkin NYR 26 18 0.6923 0.938 2.03
If you were to rank them by Wins, Vasilevskiy-TB is First. (Shesterkin 4th)
If you were to rank them by the Percentage of the Teams Wins, Vasilevskiy-TB is First. (Shesterkin 6th)
If you were to rank them by Save %, Shesterkin-NYR is First.
If you were to rank them by GAA, Anderson-Carolina is First.(Shesterkin 2nd)
Three Main Categories
What this tells us is, there are three main categories to watch for. Wins, Save %, and Goals Against Average. One could say that Shesterkin needs to pick up the pace in order to get back into the Vezina conversation for the 2023-2024 season.
While I agree with this thought, yes, he could be better. I really do think he found his game as well as his confidence, in Calgary, on October 24.2023. If you watch that game, he re-established himself as a presence in the Net. He challenged the shooters straight up and was tight on all lateral post-to-post movements.
He has been playing Rock-Solid since that game and up until his injury.
Shesterkin has given up 18 Goals to date. Here is a look at where they are scoring on him as a percentage.
High Blocker – 28%
High Glove – 17%
Mid Blocker – 6%
Mid Glove – 22%
5-Hole – 22%
Low Blocker – 0%
Empty Net – 0%
Low Blocker – 6%
I’m seeing a little trend where goals are being scored on his High Blocker and Mid Glove. The 5-Hole percentage is a little lower than presented because of some scramble goals that went in the middle area. It’s not a concern as yet, however it is something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
New York Rangers Record as of November 09.2023
9-2-1 = 19pts
1st – in the Metropolitan Division
2nd – in the Eastern Conference
3rd -Tied Overall in NHL
My View from the Cheap Seats
Section: TV Row: PVR Seat: The Couch
Overall, I think Shesterkin is playing just fine. We all know that Shersterkin is a great goaltender. We also know that he earns his stats, that’s for sure. However, we are very aware that Goalie stats are highly indicative of a team’s overall commitment to Defense.
The New York Rangers are coming together as a team, as we speak. They are all committing to Team D, which translates into an overall lower Goals Against Average, an overall better Save %, and most importantly, more Team Wins.
I am salivating at the prospect of these three main categories improving as we get closer to USA Thanksgiving, which also means we are making the Playoffs and taking a serious run for the Cup.
So, let’s all focus on being thankful for where we are, as of right now. Where the New York Rangers are in the NHL Standings. And where they will be on Thanksgiving Day.
I know I’m thinking of the upcoming festivities, including the Turducken, which is made up these three main categories, Turkey, Duck and Chicken. Yum yum. I can’t wait, bring it on.
Quote of the Day:
“There is Always Something to be Thankful for.”