Coming in 2021-22 New York Rangers Seasons, soon expectations were high for 26-year-old Igor Shesterkin. The Russian goaltender finished the former campaign with 35 appearances against a .916 save percentage and 2.62 goals-average (GAA), while a goal-save-expected (GSAX) total of 4.73 (per developed hockey, score- and position-adjusted), Which was ranked 16th in the league. After the high bar he set with his eye-opening 12-game stint in 2019-20 (with .932 percent saved), Shesterkin’s 2020-21 season could have felt like a bit of a letdown, even if it was pretty solid. was . He briefly missed a groin injury, but still ended up playing the majority of the 56-game season.
Still, heading into his first full 82-game season, it looked like Shesterkin could reach another level. And boy, did he ever do that.
Shesterkin literally put together one of the greatest goalscoring seasons of all time. In 53 games, he compiled a record of 36-13-4, a GAA of 2.07 and an absurd saving percentage of .935. This savings percentage. is the third highest league history One of the goalscorers to play at least 50 games in a season. Tim Thomas (.938) in 2010-11 and Dominic Hasek (.937) in 1998-99 are his only goals ahead.
Shesterkin’s GSAx stood at 37.24 in 2021-22, well ahead of Frederick Anderson’s second-place mark of 28.47. This is the sixth best overall score since 2007–08. It’s worth noting here that Heinrich Lundqvist leads in that category in 2009-10 with an astonishing GSAx of 53.0.
Shesterkin’s outstanding performance relative to the quality of unblocked shot attempts is evident in the chart below.
In simple words: long blue bars are good for the ‘player’!
Season after season, Shesterkin continued to shine. He opened with a franchise-record 79-saving performance, but suffered a hard-luck triple-overtime defeat. Pittsburgh Penguins In Game 1 of the first round. However, what was perhaps most impressive was his ability to come back from two particularly bad games against the Penguins later in that round. In addition to his overall brilliance, Shesterkin displayed a resilience and will to win in the most pressing moments. He was particularly influential in New York’s second-round series win. carolina hurricaneWhich culminated in an impressive 6-2 win in Game 7 at Raleigh.
In Game 7 Igor Shesterkin saved 2.15 goals more than expected.
This brings him through, in all situations, up to a GSAx of 15.75 @EvolvingHockey,
— shayna (@hayyyshayyy) 31 May 2022
Even with those two disappointing performances against the Penguins, Shesterkin scored his first NHL postseason (no, a game in the 2020 COVID-induced qualifier round doesn’t count) with a GAA of 2.59 and a still-stellar save. Finished with a percentage. 929. His GSAX of 23.21 was more impressive, easily paving the way for all playoff goaltenders, and underscoring how much he weathered the storm for the Rangers team, which got the better after the first round, But it had trouble limiting his scoring opportunities against him.
As if his skill at stopping the puck wasn’t enough, Shesterkin also demonstrated his incredible puck-handling and passing ability throughout the season.
The only thing he didn’t do was to score a goal, although he came very close. It’s a matter of when at this time, if not.
Shesterkin’s Regular Season Basically Made Him a Slam Dunk Team MVP, It also ensured that he would run away from the Vezina Trophy, that was really the case, because he secured first place 29 out of 32. (Side note: The three general managers who didn’t give him their first vote should probably be arrested, in my opinion.) Shesterkin also managed a Hart finished third in trophy voting, Somehow he wasn’t named and All-Star this year, which is sad given how meaningless that honor has become.
As another side note, I think whoever decided to kick Shusterkin off the stage with a walk-off music should also be arrested. On a brighter note, his great year continues with the news that he and his wife are going to have a baby boy!
So, what grade is Igor worth for this season? This is a no brainer.
Author Grade: A+
Joke Consensus: A+
With Shesterkin climbing to the status of “best goalkeeper in the world”, General Manager Chris Drury’s decision hand him a four-year contract extension Definitely looks like a genius move with a median annual value of $5.67 million. This is a rare example of a team paying for anticipated future performance rather than past performance that will likely not continue over the entire course of the contract.
Shesterkin is at the top of his career. Although the historic level he reached this season will be difficult to replicate, he should continue to provide Rangers elite goals for years to come. Now, all the Rangers have to do before him is to hone their game so that it’s a luxury they don’t need to rely on so much constantly.