This last week in Rangers hockey has been interesting to say the least. Whether it was Tony DeAngelo registering 5 points against the Devils Thursday night or Igor Shesterkin getting his first career NHL win between the pipes in his very first NHL game against the very talented Colorado Avalanche. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s gotten a lot of people excited. But there is certainly a rather large elephant in the room at the moment. The fact that the Rangers are currently rolling with three goalies on their active roster. Henrik Lundqvist, Alexander Georgiev and now Igor Shesterkin. So what exactly is going to be the endgame with this strategy? Time will tell.
Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers all time leader in wins, the backbone of the franchise for over a decade. Hank hasn’t started a game in net for 9 days now but he is scheduled to start tonight against the St. Louis Blues. His first game since his lost against the Calgary Flames on January 2nd. He has taken a backseat as Georgiev and Shesterkin have combined to start the last three games. He served as backup the last two games and honestly has been handling it well. It seems he has taken Igor underneath his wing and is showing him the ins and outs to be being goalie for the New York Rangers.
After the Shesterkin call up, trade rumors have been swirling involving the King. NHL Network were linking Colorado and Edmonton to the Swedish goaltender. It makes sense, two very good, offense heavy teams looking for a veteran goaltender. We all know deep down Hank wants to win a cup more than anything. Could this be his chance? Or will he put his foot down and not want to be traded once again?
As a fan, I love Henrik Lundqvist. He’s been our guy, our mainstay for this franchise. But he deserves so much better than what he has been given the last 3-4 season. I think 90% of this fanbase would not even be mad if he approved a trade to chase a cup at this point. We all know this man deserves it. But knowing the kind of guy Hank is, I’m sure he’ll squash it and remain in Rangers blue until he decides to hang up the skates because that’s how loyal he is.
Alexander Georgiev, another person Beniot Allaire has turned into an absolute stud between the pipes. As well as he has played during his time as a Ranger, I think Georgiev is the odd man out. Hank is going to finish his career here and we all know Igor is not going to get sent back down to Hartford after his first two starts at the NHL level. When could we expect Georgiev to be moved? I think sooner rather than later. The Rangers aren’t going to play musical goalies into February. We could see Georgiev traded in the next week or two. He should be able to fetch us a nice return as well. He is without question one of the Rangers top trade pieces at the moment alongside Chris Kreider and potentially Brady Skjei. Thanks for the good memories Georgiev and I hope you enjoy being a starter somewhere else in this league.
Last but not least, Igor Shesterkin. Without question, the goalie of the future for the Rangers. Tonight he will be observing the game from the press box after his two stellar starts thus far. Coming off a win where he stopped 46 of 49 shots against a feisty New Jersey Devil team. That game showed that he’s ready to play at an NHL level and he’s only going to get better from this point on. His two starts are just more fuel to the fire that Georgiev will be traded very soon. You can’t send down a guy that just stood on his head in back to back to starts. You just can’t. It’s not a fluke that through 142 appearances on the NHL/KHL/AHL level that he has only lost 23 games. That’s just an absolutely insane stat.
So by the end of January expect Georgiev to be traded and Lundqvist/Shesterkin to splitting the load for the remainder of the games this season. The torch is being passed right before our eyes from Hank to Igor. It may be sad to think of Lundqvist days dwindling before our eyes but it’s a refreshing thought to know that Shesterkin will be taking over the helm. Can’t argue with having a smooth transition like that. Now let’s keep earning some wins and steal ourselves a wild card spot please.