Missed It By *That* Much
Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin came ridiculously close to accomplishing one of the great goalie feats in hockey
As of this writing, New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin is the clear solo favorite to win the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the best goaltender in the NHL each year. On Sunday evening, he almost locked it up not with a save, but with one flick of the puck at an empty net.
Leading the Ottawa Senators 2-1 with 1:20 remanining, Shesterkin gathered the puck behind his net and had nothing but time and space, plus a wide open cage at the other end of the ice with the Sens pulling their goalie. Shesterkin's eyes lit up, and he promptly took dead aim, looking to become just the 13th goalie in NHL history to score a goal.
He missed it by that much:
I think we speak for every hockey fan when we say ... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. You don't even have to be a Rangers fan to want to see a goalie goal. There is nothing like it in the sport. As rare a feat as a perfect game in MLB. The other angle is even more painful:
Brutal. The good news is, Shesterkin loves to handle the puck, so this won't be the last time we see him give this a whirl. It wasn't the first time, either. Shesterkin tried it, much more unsuccessfully, last year against the Buffalo Sabres:
I'll tell you one group of insufferable humans who were pleased to see this Shesterkin attempt missed wide - New Jersey Devils fans. Their lord and savior Martin Brodeur scored three goalie goals in his career, the most of any goalie in NHL history (only Ron Hextall was able to score multiple, too, with two career goals). Wildly impressive stuff.
Since Brodeur's third and final goal in March of 2013, only two goalies have found the back of the net: Mike Smith for the Coyotes in October of 2013, and Pekka Rinne for the Predators in January of 2020. If we had to bet, Shesterkin will be the next to accomplish the incredible goalie feat.