The New York Rangers will soon find themselves with a problem, albeit a good problem. The team has three NHL-level goaltenders now with the emergence of Alexandar Georgiev, who has established himself as a solid NHL goaltender at the very least. Throw in longtime Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, who still has one year remaining on his contract, and top prospect Igor Shesterkin, who is looking sharp in the AHL, and the team will have a problem sooner or later, according to The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello.
The scribe notes that the simple solution of trading the aging Lundqvist to a playoff contender is extremely unlikely as Lundqvist has made it clear he doesn’t want to be traded and his $8.5MM AAV would be difficult to move even if he wanted to go to a contender.
The 23-year-old Georgiev has been exceptional in six starts this season for the Rangers, which includes a current string of three straight starts. He has a 3-2-1 record with a 2.27 GAA and a .933 save percentage, while Lundqvist hasn’t been nearly as impressive with a 2-3 record in six appearances, but a 3.58 GAA and a .906 save percentage. Throw in the impressive start by Shesterkin, who the team finally brought over from the KHL this summer, as the 23-year-old is 5-2 in seven appearances with the Hartford Wolf Pack, with a 1.83 GAA and a .932 save percentage and the team could be forced to make some important decisions at some point.
You can’t have three NHL goaltenders, however, so a trade of one of the young kids could be a potential option down the road.
- Despite considering himself to be a pass-first player, New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal has been encouraged to score more goals. Head coach Barry Trotz has made it clear to the 22-year-old that he must focus more on scoring this year. The center did just that, making changes to his stick this summer to give him a better scoring opportunity, according to Newsday’s Andrew Gross. “I just made it a little whippier and changed my curve a little bit, put a little more hook on it,” Barzal said. “Not too drastic, just a little nick on it. It gives me a little toe to suck it in and shoot it a little better.”
- NHL.com’s Shawn P. Roarke writes that Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is hopeful that he will play Friday in the first game of the 2019 Global Series against Buffalo in Stockholm, Sweden. Hedman suffered a lower-body injury last Tuesday and was placed on injured reserve. A celebrity in Sweden, Hedman would obviously like to play. However, he’ll have to prove that he’s healthy, according to head coach Jon Cooper. “I think we are all hopeful, but he is going to have to get on the ice pretty soon if we are going to see him,” Cooper said Sunday.