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The Rangers’ Goalie Is Adjusting to the Pressures of the Playoffs


He can also be certainly one of the N.H.L.’s best players at any position. He was named as certainly one of the three finalists for the Hart Trophy for most precious player throughout the regular season and is nearly guaranteed to be awarded the Vezina Trophy as the most effective goalie. All of the evidence voters needed was his .935 save percentage and a couple of.07 goals against average, each tops within the league.

Shesterkin, 26, was drafted out of Russia by the Rangers within the fourth round of the 2014 draft and has fit seamlessly right into a line of Rangers goalies stretching back to the early Nineteen Nineties with Mike Richter, who was followed, two years after his own retirement, by Henrik Lundqvist in 2005.

“What a run of goaltenders we’ve got seen here with the Rangers,” said Eddie Olczyk, a TNT analyst and teammate of Richter’s on the last Rangers’ team to win a Stanley Cup, in 1994. “Goaltending has not been an issue for the Rangers, and when you will have it, you will have a likelihood to win every night.”

Olczyk said he spoke to Gallant months ago about Shesterkin, and the coach raved to him concerning the goalie’s uncanny ability to read, react and be in the proper position ahead of the shot or the pass.

“I don’t think you hear that fairly often,” Olczyk said. “He seems to know what’s going to occur before it does. When that happens, you’re playing five-card stud with six cards. It’s a fairly good hand to be fiddling with.”

Lundqvist was like that, too. He was still a Ranger when Shesterkin made his debut on Jan. 7, 2020. Shesterkin spoke little or no English then, and it was difficult for Lundqvist to speak with him in an informal, in-depth manner to get a way of who Shesterkin was. But he noticed that his latest teammate was quite relaxed and chatty with the opposite Russian-speaking players on the Rangers, comparable to Pavel Buchnevich and Vladislav Namestnikov, each of whom are not any longer on the team.

Now a Rangers analyst on the MSG Network, Lundqvist said Shesterkin’s easygoing demeanor was critical to the Russian goalie’s ability to face up to pressure and failure — what little of it he has had.

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