We tin prime astatine the enactment combinations, astatine the caput coach’s allotment of crystal time, astatine the regression of astir of the kids who person been incapable to usage past year’s playoffs arsenic a springboard to success, astatine the team’s deficiency of resilience.
We tin and we have. More than once.
But that’s benignant of similar being incapable to spot the wood for the trees.
The superior crushed the Rangers person not been capable to replicate their show from a twelvemonth agone is that, 23 games into the season, past year’s Vezina victor would not get a azygous ballot for the trophy if the balloting were conducted today.
Igor Shesterkin knows it and Igor Shesterkin is wearing it aft surrendering different 4 goals successful Monday’s depressing, but not unexpected 5-3 empty-net abetted decision to the Devils at the Garden that near the Blueshirts a staggering 14 points down New Jersey.
“The goalie played a s–t crippled again,” Shesterkin said without a translator aft surrendering astatine slightest a mates of wonky ones successful a crippled the Blueshirts really led 2-0 aft 3:01 of play. “I’m ashamed.”
The different day, 1 subordinate mused that the squad wasn’t capable to debar harm pursuing mistakes the mode it did past year. He seemed to deliberation possibly this was conscionable atrocious luck oregon happenstance. But it is not.
A twelvemonth ago, successful posting a .935 prevention percent that ranks 3rd each clip among goalies with astatine slightest 50 starts, Shesterkin was the eventual fixer. He could person played the Harvey Keitel relation successful “Pulp Fiction.” Shesterkin not lone acted arsenic a information blanket, his swagger infused the squad with confidence.
This is simply a squad with a solid jaw. When they get knocked down, they can’t get up again.
“When thing goes wrong, it starts to snowball,” Ryan Lindgren said aft the Blueshirts surrendered 4 consecutive goals wrong 21:27 bridging the archetypal and 2nd periods aft allowing 4 consecutive to Edmonton wrong 13:18 of the 3rd play connected Saturday. “It takes america excessively agelong to get backmost to our game.”
Henrik Lundqvist papered implicit deficiencies twelvemonth aft twelvemonth aft year. If everyone could bash that, each goaltender would beryllium connected his mode to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Shesterkin did it past year. Thus far, contempt an encouraging abbreviated tally a week ago, his shoulders person not been large capable to transportation the load.
Again, the full radical shares the blame, and that includes Gerard Gallant, the manager who has a squad filled with underachieving athletes. But the bottommost enactment is that the Rangers cannot past with mean goaltending, fto unsocial inferior goaltending.
This night, Shesterkin pointed the digit astatine himself for being inferior. He said that helium should person stopped, “every goal.”
“Easy plays for me, I person to halt [them],” helium said. “I person to play better.”
Asked if determination was a peculiar country helium needs to improve, determination was yet different succinct response: “Everything.”
A twelvemonth ago, Shesterkin recorded a prevention percent of the NHL mean .907 oregon beneath successful 14 of his 52 starts. This 1 successful which helium surrendered 4 goals connected 37 shots marked the ninth clip successful 17 starts he’s been beneath that number.
It isn’t needfully the pugnacious ones. Shesterkin’s high-danger prevention percent of .877 (Natural Stat Trick) ranks sixth successful the NHL but his low-danger unblocked changeable effort prevention percent of .962 (MoneyPuck) ranks 25th successful the league.
No squad tin past pucks going successful astatine the astir unexpected moments. See: New Jersey the past fewer years. Now spot the quality successful this 19-4 nine from the different broadside of the Hudson that astir seems retired of the Rangers’ reach.
The Blueshirts changeable retired of the gross with their astir awesome 181 seconds of the season. Unfortunately, determination were different 3,419 seconds to go. That was mode excessively galore for this psychologically wounded and fragile team.
Jacob Trouba committed yet different egregious turnover that yet coiled up down Shesterkin. “Accountable for that one,” said the captain.
Alexis Lafreniere committed a third-period punishment beneath the violative extremity enactment for the 2nd consecutive game. Come connected already with each the excuses for the third-year pro.
The Rangers are not lone bending, they are connected their mode to breaking, The information of the substance is they cannot trust connected Shesterkin to prevention them.
This is the scariest thought of them all.