Igor Shesterkin’s NHL Debut was a Win, Win

Last night’s NHL debut of New York Rangers’ elite goalie prospect Igor Shesterkin was a win, win in my opinion. While it didn’t take long for the young netminder to get a taste of the sometimes woeful Ranger defense, I thought he settled in nicely and made some good saves when they needed him to. True, he gave up two early goals but one would be hard pressed to think that this young man did not have a few opening night jitters to shake off too.

One of the highlights came early in the first period when Shesterkin made a flyball like outlet pass from just above his goal crease right to the tape of forward Kaapo Kakko who took the pass and broke straight into the Colorado Avalanche zone. Whether you watched on television or in person at Madison Square Garden, you could hear the “ooh’s and ahh’s” plain as could be, and the smile response from Rangers coach David Quinn that followed was a memorable moment for fans who have waited to see this young man play at the NHL level.

I also admire the fact that the New York Rangers organization decided to give this young goaltender his debut appearance on home ice against the leagues leading offense in the Colorado Avalanche. The 5-3 Ranger victory was the icing on the cake and quite imaginably it left a sweet taste in the mouths of all involved in bringing him to America and the New York Rangers. Looking forward to his next start and watching him fill up the highlight reels with all that he seemingly has to offer.

Ranger Rants: The Alexandar Georgiev Situation

By Mike -CenterIcePen
I’m not going to even waste your valuable time on yet another redundant game summary. Instead, I’m going to speak from the viewpoint of a loyal fan…

Hey folks, I’m not going to even waste your valuable time on yet another redundant game summary that anyone can get with one-click on ESPN or NHL.com. Instead, I am going to use this post to speak from the viewpoint of a loyal fan on the impending goaltender situation in New York.

As the roller coaster ride that is the New York Rangers rebuild continues, one can’t help but to think back to March 3rd 2004 when defenseman Brian Leetch was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs after seventeen seasons as a New York Ranger. Leetch was traded for Jarkko Immonen, Maxim Kondratiev and two future draft picks. Names are not important right now, but one of the two turned out to be Michael Sauer, which is a whole different story for another day. Do keep in mind though that Brian Leetch did contribute to bringing home Lord Stanley’s cup after 54 years and his number #2 now hangs in the rafters at Madison Square Garden. While of course hating to overstate the obvious here, the bottom line is that professional sports teams are also businesses.

Keeping that in mind, at times the unfavorable must be done. In this case it will be the trade that sends away young goaltender Alexandar Georgiev for likely nothing of any significance in return. Undoubtedly, although many people will probably disagree with this, one must think objectively in this case rather than emotionally.

When an organization like the New York Rangers, one with such a steep tradition as the Rangers have in it’s fan base, things like trades look a whole lot different from the business standpoint than they do from that of a fan’s perspective. Fact is that Henrik Lundqvist has spent fourteen seasons with the Rangers, will undeniably go down in Rangers history as one of the all-time greats, and you can pretty much bet your bottom dollar that at some point in the future Lundqvist’s #30 will go to the rafters like those who came before him. Sadly, as much as even I’d like him to stay, it’s near certain Alexander Georgiev’s #40 will not.

While it truly breaks my heart to think of what could have been when thinking about an under twenty-five goalie tandem in Alexandar Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin, clearly management has other ideas. Lundqvist has a no-move clause in his contract and if the Rangers were to expose Georgiev to the waivers market it would be hard to fathom him not being picked up by another team. While I would love to see Henrik bow out gracefully, my guess is he won’t. Especially since he has repeatedly said that he would like to play out his career in New York while still trying to win the Stanley Cup which has thus far eluded him.

Although we will see Henrik Lundqvist in the net tonight as the New York Rangers face off against the Los Angeles Kings tonight in L.A., as a lifelong fan of the Broadway Blueshirts I’m not pumped for it at all. It’s far too predictable for me. Yeah, they might play well tonight against an ailing Kings team, but it’s pretty fair to say that the team itself will look different tonight than they did in Vegas. If I were to place a bet on this game like betting on the coin-toss in the Super Bowl, my money would be on yet another early game tally that will not just change the momentum of the game, but also quickly erase any confidence the young defense had gained from the last game against the Vegas Golden Knights. Simply hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

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