Igor Shesterkin vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy

NEW YORK — Eastern Conference finals showdown pitting Igor Shesterkin You can find the New York Rangers Against Andrei Vasilevskiy You can find the Tampa Bay Lightning This matchup will feature what many consider to be the best goalies around the world.

Who is the best? Shesterkin humblely admits that it's not him. Not yet, at least.

Rangers netminder: “He is the best goalie currently in the world,” he said. “I believe it will be a good fight.”

Vasilevskiy is more experienced of the two. He led the Lightning in back-to-back Stanley Cups. He also won playoff MVP honors. He was the league's best goaltender for 2018-19, and led the NHL with five consecutive seasons of wins. He is considered to be one of the NHL's best postseason goalies, with a streak of 10 games in which the Lightning are able to defeat their opponent — six of those victories coming via shutout.

Shesterkin is 26 years younger than Vasilevskiy. Shesterkin, a Lightning goalie, made his NHL debut at age 20 for Tampa Bay. However Shesterkin wasn't able to grace NHL ice until the age of 24. Although he still has much to do to match his countryman's achievements, Shesterkin is gaining momentum. He won the Vezina Trophy for league save percentage (.935) as well as goals-against-average (2.07) and was nominated for the Hart Trophy to be the regular-season MVP.

Even though his first postseason run was fraught with bumps (like being pulled twice in Pittsburgh during round one), Shesterkin recorded consecutive Game 7 wins that propelled the Rangers to conference finals. This included a 36-save performance which eliminated the Rangers. Carolina Hurricanes Monday night

Forward stated that “Obviously, our goaltender once again was our best player.” Chris KreiderHe scored twice in the victory.

Although the Russian goalies are friends, they only know each other at best.

Shesterkin replied, “No, not too near,”

They were briefly teammates with the Russian national team from 2016-2017.

Shesterkin jokingly said, “I was sitting on the bench,” when Shesterkin asked them if they played together.

For the conference finals they will be at opposite ends – starting Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden8 ET, ESPN and ESPN+). Vasilevskiy is leading the playoffs with an impressive.932 save percentage (minimum of 10 games); Shesterkin follows him at.928.

“Obviously Vasilevskiy has a track-record that speaks for itself. But I believe Shesty also has one. He's been incredible this year,” Rangers defenseman Adam Fox said. “Two goalies who are good together. But I have a lot faith in Shesty.”

Two rounds have seen 332 skaters participate in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Igor Shesterkin outscored 165.

The Rangers goalie has recorded three assists in the playoffs. He also had two assists against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6. This marked the fifth time that multiple assists have been recorded in a playoff game in NHL postseason history. The Rangers had just been eliminated and no one had done it before.

“Honestly, it was mostly the guys that did the majority of the work. Shesterkin explained that he just handed the puck to them and they delivered.

Rangers winger, “It is always great to have someone who can score goals,” Artemi Panarin joked.

Evidently, the Rangers are where you would expect them to be because Shesterkin isn't helping but hinders them from achieving their goals.

His playoffs began in dramatic fashion. He stopped 79 out of 83 Pittsburgh shots in a game that ended in triple overtime. Shesterkin recovered with a Game 2 win, in which he allowed two goals on 41 shots.

Then came the games at Pittsburgh. It was Shesterkin's first ever playoffs game on the road with opposing fans. His previous playoff experience was in 2020 Toronto bubble. In that bubble, he started a Game 3 loss against the Hurricanes in an empty building.

Penguins fans laughed at his performance, chanting “EEEEEEEE-GOOOORE!” His chants echoing throughout the arena: “EEEEEE-GOOOORE!”

Although Gerard Gallant, coach, said that the pulls were a chance to “reset”, his goalie. However, he added that Shesterkin's poor performance was not on him.

He said, “I have never had an issue dealing with Igor.” “I had more issues with our team when those goals came up. He was a young goalie and didn't have any playoff experience. It's an important position when you are a goaltender. You [can get] A little bit. I don’t know what caused him to get rattled. I don't bother to talk to him.”

In Game 6, he stopped 31 of 34 shots back in Pittsburgh. This forced a Game 7. He gave up three goals, but he was able to stop 13 shots in overtime and the third period to win the series.

Shesterkin described playing in Game 7 as “a little shaky prior to a game, however, when I got on the ice, it's easy to forget everything.”

He posted a.959 save rate against Carolina, a 1.38 goals against average, and 7.97 goals saved over replacement in the series. He was steady all the way, on the road and at home. He was like the other inexperienced Rangers playoff players, and was still learning before the NHL.

“We talk about our young kids. Gallant stated that the 14 games gave them a lot of practice. Gallant stated, “When you first inquired about our inexperience versus Pittsburgh, and if it was a concern, well, it was. But I wasn't going tell you about it.” Now, these guys know how you play in a playoff match.

In the next few weeks, the Rangers will find out if they are prepared to defeat a team seeking the first Stanley Cup triple-peat since 1983. They're optimistic that Shesterkin will give them a chance at winning.

Tampa Bay is also a netminder.

Jon Cooper was speechless. This, if you have heard the Tampa Bay Lightning coach talk about it, is rare indeed.

Cooper responded to a question about Vasilevskiy’s performance in sweep the Florida Panthers The second round. “He gives us the chance to win.”

Cooper was in his third year with the Lightning when Vasilevskiy joined the roster as a goalie Ben Bishop‘s backup. Bishop was hurt in Game 2 of 2015 Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago BlackhawksVasilevskiy won the game in 9:13. He made nine saves, and the game was over. Bishop was able to return for Game 3. Vasilevskiy then started Game 4, stopping 17 out of 19 shots.

“The last two days have been more fun than any season.” That's great,” Vasilevskiy told me at the time.

Vasilevskiy's enthusiasm for pressure-filled moments may explain why he has the legacy that he has in the playoffs. He tied for second in postseason save percentage (.925), which is for goalies who had at least 90 playoff games. Dominik Hasek Tuukka RaskOnly.001 away Braden HoltbyHe was the 2018 Stanley Cup winner with the Capitals. In playoff history, no goalie has won more (57) or played fewer games (92).

“My job is to give the boys the chance of winning.” Last week, Vasilevskiy said that we've done a good job of doing that. “I think that the entire team is playing in these games… constant blocked shots. Sacrifices. Boys breaking bones in order to stop the puck. This is not just me. I try to do the best job I can.

Cooper stated that this is the essence of a postseason netminder who succeeds.

He said, “A goalie's job is to give his team a chance at winning if he wants elite.” I believe there are many misnomers. What do you think? Grant Fuhr. Wayne Gretzky was a good listener. Fuhr may only let in five points, but he gives his team a chance at winning. Fuhr shuts it down at five for six if they score six. You can get it in many different ways.

While other goalies may have posted impressive numbers, Vasilevskiy is the “closer”. His winning streak in elimination games has been impressive, but it is even more impressive when you consider how he did it. Two of his six shutouts during that 10-game streak were 1-0 games against the Islanders (Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semifinal in 2020) and then against the Toronto Maple Leafs (Game 8 of the Stanley Cup semifinal, 2020). Montreal Canadiens In Game 5 in the Stanley Cup Finale in 2021

“When we look back when we are older, that's something that will stay there for a long while.” It's quite cool to play with someone who's going down as one the greatest players ever to have played the game,” Lightning Winger Alex Killorn said. “That's how you measure players: How they perform in big-time sports. He's been nothing short of amazing in these games.”

His last-round win against the Panthers was a 49-save shutout. This is the second-most series-clinching saves since 1955-56, when saves were first recorded.

We knew they would push and put a lot of pucks in the net. He was. Vasy. Captain Vasy. Steven Stamkos said.

Prior to the Panthers' sweep, there were legitimate questions about Vasilevskiy during the opening round of the match against the Panthers. Toronto Maple Leafs. He conceded three goals or more in six of his first six games.

“It's funny that five games into the Toronto series you start asking questions about Vasilevskiy. It's truly shocking to me. Cooper said, “There is never a doubt within our locker room.”

Vasilevskiy stopped 31 of 31 shots in Game 7 to eliminate the Leafs.

Cooper explained, “On one side, it might be a bit demoralizing when I look at him and I just don't feel as if you can score.” “I am thankful that he is on the side of us.”

Both Eastern Conference finals sides have excellent goalies. It is somewhat reminiscent of 2015's conference finals between these two teams, which was Bishop vs. Henrik Lundqvist A seven-game series. It was notable because it did not live up to its hype. The average combined goals per match was six.

Will 2022's conference finals bring another offensive surprise or will NHL fans see the goalie battle they want?

“Igor is a great goalie. Gallant stated that Vasilevskiy won Cups back-to-back in consecutive years. It's going be an extraordinary series, I think.”

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