Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin has hit a slump in recent weeks, with uncharacteristically poor play in the net for the Blue Shirts.
Thee nettender has allowed 14 goals in his past 5 games, which has led to a measly 3–2 run for the team from Madison Square Garden during that stretch, which marks a significant downturn from the 26-year-old’s Vezina Trophy-caliber season.
Despite his recent struggles, Shesterkin still boasts the best save percentage in the NHL among goalies with more than 5 games played at .933.
His last 5 games, however, has seen that number decline significantly to just .886, which presents a significant worry for the team, as they battle for playoff positioning with just 12 games left in the season.
“I’m a little bit frustrated,” Shesterkin told reporters after the team’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. “You really want to keep winning but I’ll keep working on my game.”
Most notably, the Shesterkin gave up 5 goals to the New Jersey Devils in an ugly loss on March 22, before being pulled from the game completely.
Still Rangers Head Coach Gerard Gallant brushed off criticism of his star, saying his recent struggles are simply a rough patch that he’ll likely overcome.
“I still think he’s been the best goalie in the league all season long,” said Gallant.
The team currently sits in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 94 points at a 44-20-6 record, which puts them 2 points above the Pittsburgh Penguins, and 4 points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes.
[READ ALSO: Shesterkin, Rangers skate to second place]
The team will almost certainly make the postseason, though betting oddsmakers are bearish on the team’s chances to hoist the Stanley Cup. Fanduel Sportsbook, a popular betting website, currently gives the team +2000 odds (meaning bettors would win $20 or every $1 wagered), which puts the Rangers tied for the 9th best chances to win it all.
Meanwhile, the Blue Shirts have continued to rely on their top-heavy roster for offense, with their 5 top point-getters accounting for 329 out of the team’s total 569 points.
Artemi Panarin (82), Mika Zibanejad (71), Adam Fox (66), Chris Kreider (65), and Ryan Strome (45) have collectively scored 117 goals, while assisting on 212 others.
The Blue Shirts’ next game comes on Tuesday, April 5 in a road matchup against the New Jersey Devils.