Two Rangers In The Top Two In The League For Their Positions: Part Two

Alexender Camilo
October 17, 2023  (9:11 PM)

In a previous article, we discussed if Adam Fox has an argument to be called the best defenseman in the league.

Check it out if you have the chance. Now we will discuss the Igor Shesterkin argument for him being the best net-minder in the game.
ESPN created a list of the top-100 players in the league. Five Rangers' have been selected.
Igor on this list ranks second with goaltenders, behind the Winnipeg Jets goalie, Connor Hellebuyck, and 28th overall.
In terms of accolades, they each have a Vezina Trophy for best goaltender. So this is a wash.
The last three seasons will be a better measurement as to what they have done to qualify for this ranking.
So we will look at their stats from the 2020-2021 season, to the 2022-2023 season. NHL stats have everything for reference.
Connor Hellebuyck has played 175 games the last three seasons and complied a record of 90-69-15, with 12 shutouts.
Igor Shesterkin has played 146 games and complied a record of 89-40-15 with 11 shutouts. Hellebuyck has played almost 30 more games , and has one more win and one more shutout than Shesterkin.
Connor Hellebuyck has a save percentage of .915, while Igor Shesterkin save percentage is .923.
Connor Hellebuyck goal allowed average is 2.70 while Igor Shesterkin is 2.36.
Now for their playoff numbers. Connor Hellebuyck played 13 games in the playoffs the last three seasons. His record is 5-8 with one shutout, A save percentage of .915, and goals allowed average is 2.68. Igor Shesterkin played in 27 games, with a 13-13 record. His save percentage is .930 and goals allowed average is 2.42.
The numbers on their surface seem to strongly suggest Shesterkin is the better goalie.
I understand why ESPN, favor Connor Hellebuyck in the rankings. He is asked to do more for a team that has less.
While the overall numbers don't support him being a better goaltender than Igor Shesterkin, he makes up for it with sheer volume of playing more minutes and games, with the average games Igor Shesterkin played per season for the last three years is 48.6, while Connor Hellebuyck average is 58.3 per season, almost ten more games.
Igor Shesterkin is also surrounded by a talented cast of players with Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, and more. Connor Hellebuyck has a decent cast himself in front of him, but there is a gap in talent level.
You can certainly make a case for either one. But in terms of raw numbers and proven performances in the playoffs, I would take Igor Shesterkin as my goalie and the best in the league.
Two Rangers In The Top Two In The League For Their Positions: Part Two

Would you rank Igor Shesterkin as the best goalie in the league?

Yes4685.2 %
No814.8 %
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