New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin is the clear front-runner in the Vezina Trophy race this season, and there is a very strong argument that he should be a leading contender for league MVP. He has been a game-changer (and a season-changer) for the Rangers and been one of the single most impactful players in the league. On the list of reasons for the Rangers success, he is at the top of the list by a wide margin.
He was sensational again for the Rangers on Sunday, stopping 29 out of 30 shots in a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators to improve his season record to 24-5-3, while also earning the 50th win of his career (his career record is now 50-21-6). When he is not the Rangers’ starting goalie, they have been a .500 team.
Just about the only thing he has not done this season is score a goal.
He almost added that to the list on Sunday. He was inches away from it.
With the Rangers clinging to a 2-1 lead late in the third, he took a shot at the empty net at the other end of the ice and for a brief second it looked like he was going to score the first goal of his career and become only the 13th goalie in NHL history to scorer a goal. Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was the most recent goalie to score a goal, finding an empty net on January 9, 2020 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Then the puck just slowly started to drift to the left, missing the open net by the slimmest or margins. Just look at this.
IGOR REALLY WENT FOR IT! 😱 pic.twitter.com/goPQ1EXmP6
— NHL (@NHL) February 21, 2022
Martin Brodeur is the NHL’s all-time leader in goalie goals, scoring three of them in his career. Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ron Hextall is the only other goalie to score more than one goal. Rinne, Cam Ward, Mika Noronen, Billy Smith, Chris Mason, Evgeni Nabokov, Chris Osgood, Damian Rhodes, Jose Theodore, and Mike Smith all scored one goal.