Last week, the Chiclets boys and I embarked on a journey to Atlanta to interview Wayne Gretzky and a plethora of other amazing guests. Be sure to check out the full vlog at the link above. Sean works his ass off and is an unreal editor. The video covers the entire trade deadline.
Anyways, we always love to stir the pot with each other and this time it escalated to another level. Now let me preface this with the fact that I think Ryan Whitney is more times than not, a very smart guy. However, saying that he'd rather have Andrei Vasilevskiy over Igor Shesterkin THIS SEASON going into the playoffs makes absolutely no sense.
The top is Vasi, the bottom is Igor. Clear cut who's been better this season. Whitney's whole argument is that Vasi has the Stanley Cups and the additional trophies. There's no denying he's a great goaltender. He's phenomenal, but accolades have literally nothing to do with season by season play. Jonathan Quick has two Stanley Cups, you're gonna tell me you'd rather him in net than Igor this postseason? Based on the response to Whitney's argument, most of you would probably say yes.
Part of me feels like the majority of people misunderstood the point I was trying to get across. If you're arguing overall career, the answer is without a doubt Vasi. Igor's young career is just starting (at 26 years old which is kind of funny). There was a stretch where he was #1 in Hart Trophy consideration and was on track to break the save percentage record. He has a 1.86 GAA and a .940 SV% against the East this year to Vasilevskiy's 2.39 GAA/.918. Also, if you want to talk about trophies, there's at least going to be a Vezina in Igor's hands by the end of the season.
Whit and I were arguing all day Monday and then on Tuesday, this happened. The fact that I was able to sit in the same room as Wayne Gretzky was one thing, but for him to even entertain this argument was so surreal. I owe the Spittin' Chiclets crew so much for being able to have that moment/day with the greatest hockey player to ever play. As for his response, he mentions that you have to beat the winners. To BEAT the best, you have to BE the best, and that's why I'll continue to side with the best (this season), Igor Shesterkin. Even after the rough couple of games he's had this year, he's STILL top two in both GAA and SV% categories. Absolute lunacy.
Also, if we're going to be completely honest, I kinda froze up there. Didn't really expect Wayne to talk to me at all. If only you could see my face in that moment. There might've been a couple skid marks on the briefs when I got back to my hotel.
In the end, we're discussing two great goaltenders. To me, the facts don't lie. Igor is the better goaltender right now. That's the guy you want going into the playoffs. The guy that's CARRIED the New York Rangers this season. Breaking records left and right.
Regardless, I'm fired up for what should be an unreal playoffs this year and who knows, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Gretzky, Whit, Biz, RA, Grinnelli, Sean, and the precise 71% of 31,283 people on twitter were right. Only one way to find out. LGR.