How the Rangers Wasted Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist has been a constant bright light in the New York Rangers crease for the last 11 years. He is the 12th goalie ever to reach the 400-win mark, doing it in the fastest span in NHL history. Yet, despite this success, Lundy has only been to one Stanley Cup with nothing to show for it. He is arguably one of the best goaltenders of all time, but there is reason to doubt that he will ever win the cup with the Rangers. Lundqvist has been on a Rangers team capable of winning the Stanley Cup on a pretty regular basis, but his only Stanley Cup Final was a decimation to the LA Kings in 5 games, a team that was clearly more talented. Solid goaltending is one of the hardest constants to find in hockey and the Rangers have a goalie any team would pick to build from the net outwards with.

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Henrik came into the league in 2005-2006 winning 30 games in only 53 appearances. He has a career high of 39 wins in the 2011-2012 only to lose to interstate rivals New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Final with Adam Henrique crushing Rangers fans’ hopes with a famous goal. He has a career low in wins during the following lockout shortened season in 2012-2013, with 24, still a relatively high mark. He has been incomparably consistent throughout his career, carrying the Rangers to the playoffs for years. Following the 2016-playoff series against the Penguins, Hank was criticized following the Rangers early exit, yet he was hung out to dry by his easily-overwhelmed and abysmal defense. If the Rangers were going to win that series, Lundqvist would have had to stand on his head game in and game out, which is really too much to ask from any goalie.

Since his 2007 season, Lundqvist has 0.60 Goals Saved Per Game, meaning that for every ten games he plays, he saves 6 goals from going in, which is more than enough to call Lundy a game-altering goaltender. A goalie of similar status, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, is nearly half as effective in this statistical category, really showing Lundy’s game-to-game impact. This speaks volumes about how good of an overall goalie Henrik is, but at the same time exposes how bad the Rangers defense has been in regards to complementing their Swedish Wall.

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Henrik Lundqvist has been a staple of excellence and dominance for more than a decade at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers have truly wasted one of the best goaltenders of all time, a near shoe-in as a first ballot hall-of-famer. He will go down in history as the best goaltender to have never won a title.  The good news for Rangers fans is that he is still a Vezina-caliber goalie and probably still has a few good years in him. Perhaps his title chase can be successful yet. As Rangers fans are left with only a few years to admire King Henrik, time is running out for him to solidify his legacy as a winning goalkeeper.

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