Igor Shesterkin
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Igor Shesterkin’s car accident on Sunday night in Brooklyn might derail the New York Rangers’ playoff chase before it begins.

Frank Curto

Monday was a stressful day for the New York Rangers and the trade deadline moves were far from the most important story of the day.

President John Davidson held a press conference which began at 11:15 a.m. This was notably unusual because the team was expected to begin its practice at 11 a.m. The speculation went full speed ahead, ranging from the team announcing that Chris Kreider would be traded to the crazy suggestion that Henrik Lundqvist waived his no-trade clause.

To hear JD explain that Igor Shesterkin and Pavel Buchnevich were involved in a car accident Sunday night in Brooklyn was the last thing anyone expected.

The Injuries

Davidson advised that Buchnevich was “quite shaken up,” but he was left uninjured thanks to the airbags and seat belts the players were wearing. The availability of Buchnevich for Tuesday night’s game against the New York Islanders is not yet known. The good news is he will be fine.

Shesterkin was not as lucky. The team announced that the rookie goaltender suffered a non-displaced rib fracture.

Per the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, a non-displaced rib fracture is a break in the rib that is single and is classified as a hairline fracture or simple fractures. Ribs usually fracture at the point of impact or in the back where structurally they are weakest. The most common mechanism causing rib fractures is blunt trauma (i.e. automobile accidents, falls from height, assault, or even severe coughing).

The injury is uncomfortable to recover from. A cough or ordinary breathing can cause the fractured rib area to become painful. There is no one specific way to treat this injury, rest and time are the best way to recuperate.

The Rangers said Shesterkin would be re-evaluated in a few weeks. This injury tends to take four to six weeks to heal depending on the location of the rib fracture which was not announced in Davidson’s press conference.

Shesterkin, 24, is young, but the position he plays demands that he be at 100% before returning to practice or game action. Breathing, stretching, and the constant up and down activity a goaltender goes through daily in a game could mean Shesterkin’s recovery is closer to six weeks than four, but that’s speculation at this point.

This injury could not have come at the worse time for the team and Shesterkin himself. An 8-1 record and a ton of confidence in the net had brought the Blueshirts to within four points of a wild card spot.

His health is of the utmost importance, but it’s hard not tho think about the remaining schedule and possibilities of making an appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Six weeks is all that remains in this NHL season. The Rangers are lucky that Shesterkin didn’t suffer a more serious injury. They are also lucky to have Alexandar Georgiev (Tuesday’s starter) and Henrik Lundqvist (just four starts since the beginning of the new year) standing by to carry the load for the team.

Even with the two goalies who began the year as the No. 1—Lundqvist—and the backup—Georgiev—it still feels as the odds are no longer in favor of the Rangers.

The team played great in front of Shesterkin, even more so when he was named the No. 1 goalie earlier this month. For now, the Czar will have to rest and heal with the hope that this team can continue to find ways to reach the playoffs.

A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com