The New York Rangers All-World Goalie Igor Shesterkin #31, will represent the New York Rangers at the 2024 All-Star Game in Toronto on February 1-3. He is replacing Panarin who is attending the birth of his second child.
Now, truth be told, I like Shesterkin. I think he is a great goalie and I am so glad he is backstopping the Blueshirts these days. However, given his recent play and current stats package, I’m not so sure he deserves to be called an All-Star at this very time.
Now, before I get flak about this, let me explain my reasoning. Below are Shesterkin’s stats for this season as compared to his Vezina Trophy year of 2022. Below you will notice that Shesterkin’s GGA is currently Higher than it was in 2022 and his Save% is Lower than it was in 2022. I am only comparing with his Vezina stats to show you how brilliant #31 he can be and has been.
Shesterkin #31 Stats as of January 16.2024
17 wins – 6th overall in the NHL.
2.83 Goals Against Average – 28th overall in the NHL.
.903 Save % - 32nd overall in the NHL.
As compared to…
Vezina Winner Shesterkin #31 Stats as of 2021-2022
36 wins – 6th overall in the NHL.
2.07 Goals Against Average – 1st overall in the NHL.
.935 Save % - 1st overall in the NHL.
Why are Shesterkin’s stats lagging in 2024.
Shesterkin started this year off slow. I never heard the real reason, however I know that he found his game in Calgary on October 24.2023. He proceeded to play great until his Lower Body injury against the Carolina Hurricanes on November 02.2023. (Interesting, this is also the timeline where the Rangers started to have other injuries, which affected their line-up, as well as their style of play. They have been playing “Loose Hockey” since November.)
Here is where Goals are Scored on Shesterkin as of January 15.2024
High Blocker 14% High Glove 19%
Mid Blocker 6% Mid Glove 16%
Five Hole 11%
Low Blocker 6% Low Glove 14%
Empty Net 9%
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With this information, my spider sense is tingling. The opposition is seeing a weakness on the High Glove and the Mid Glove on Shesterkin. What I do know is that #31 has been beat clean on a few shots, which leads me to believe that he is not as square to the shooter or he is not challenging the player as much as he did earlier in the year.
His mechanics might be off ever-so-slightly. Is he favoring something from the past injury? Let’s say his glove hand is just slightly lower than its normal position, that would mean it is easier for a snipe shot over the glove hand. Hmmmm…interesting theory.
I’m not sure if Shesterkin is having difficulty tracking these shots straight up or if a past injury is causing him to have a slower reaction time. Either way, the fact still remains that #31 is playing well, he is just not playing lights out crazy All-Star good at this point in time.
I really think the All-Star game should showcase All of the Stars up to this point in the season vs it being a popularity contest. Please consider these Eastern Conference G-Men.
Lindgren – Capitals
8 wins – 38th overall in the NHL.
2.24 Goals Against Average – 5th overall in the NHL.
.929 Save % - 2nd overall in the NHL.
He might not have the wins, however the other stats prove he is an All-Star and is single-handedly keeping the Capital in the Hunt for a Wild Card Playoff spot.
Bobrovsky – Florida
21 wins – 3rd overall in the NHL.
2.45 Goals Against Average – 11th overall in the NHL.
.911 Save % - 22nd overall in the NHL.
Swayman – Boston
13 wins – 13th overall in the NHL.
2.38 Goals Against Average – 10th overall in the NHL.
.922 Save % - 7th overall in the NHL.
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New York Rangers Record as of January 16.2024
1st - in the Metropolitan Division
2nd - in Eastern Conference
3rd Tied - Overall in NHL
My View from the Cheap Seats
Section: TV Row: PVR Seat: The Couch
I always felt it was a great honor to represent at an All-Star Game. I understand Business Economics, injuries, and sickness, however those Players who are having an outstanding season should be attending the All-Star Game. It should not matter how many players are from a certain team or from a certain division. And I certainly welcome at least one All-Star per team.
Regardless, Shesterkin #31, our All-World Goalie, has been between the pipes for 17 NYR wins. That represents 63% of the Rangers Dubs to this point in the season. Which is an All-Star in my eyes.
Quote of the Day:
“Always Shoot for the Stars”
(This is a subtle jab at #31, as well as the strategy of Shooting Top Shelf…lol)