As hot as the Rangers are right now, losing Igor Shesterkin to an injury is very scary. After Shesterkin left Friday’s game, it didn’t look good, but the Rangers provided mostly good news a day later.
Rangers place Igor Shesterkin on IR, team will be tested for at least a week
Here’s more from Gerard Gallant:
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 4, 2021
Will the Rangers lean on Georgiev for this week’s back-to-back set, or give Huska one of two starts? If Shesterkin misses more time than expected, then it’s noteworthy that the Rangers face another back-to-back Tuesday-Wednesday set a week later.
|Sat, Dec. 4||vs. Chicago|
|Tue, Dec. 7||@ Chicago|
|Wed, Dec. 8||vs. Colorado|
|Fri, Dec. 10||@ Buffalo|
|Sun, Dec. 12||vs Nashville|
|Tue, Dec. 14||@ Colorado|
|Wed, Dec. 15||@ Arizona|
|Fri, Dec. 17||vs. Vegas|
That Dec. 17 date is included, in part, because it’s a useful cutoff point. The Rangers get what could be some important breaks after that (Dec. 17 vs. Vegas, then Dec. 22 vs. Montreal, then Dec. 27 vs. Detroit).
Can they stay hot?
The Rangers carried a five-game winning streak into Saturday’s game against the Blackhawks. They’ve also won nine of their last 10 games.
You can’t just chalk the Rangers’ success solely up to Shesterkin. That said, it will be interesting to see how the team copes without someone who’s been absolutely elite. Meanwhile, Georgiev has been almost the opposite.
Lowest Goals Saved Above Expected – December 4 pic.twitter.com/N7UKZ6gf9k
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) December 4, 2021
Really, though, this could be a blessing in disguise.
With two games against the hit-or-miss Blackhawks, one against the Coyotes, and one vs. the Sabres, the Rangers’ schedule is generally favorable. Without Shesterkin, the Rangers might need to tighten up a bit on defense. Maybe they can shake some bad habits in the process?
All of that said, the Rangers would obviously still prefer Shesterkin to only miss a week, rather than a couple weeks, with this injury. But it definitely could’ve been worse.