Does the King and need a ring?
Henrik Lundqvist has established himself as the king of the crease on the grandest stage, the world’s most famous arena. Throughout his career for the blue shirts Lundqvist has conquered every mountain there is to for an NHL goaltender. Most career wins and shutouts for the franchise? check. Being the team’s icon? check. Vezina trophy winner? check. There is only one hurdle left for Lundqvist to overcome, a Stanley Cup Championship. If Lundqvist wants to make a case for the hall of fame and cement his legacy as the greatest net minder in Rangers history, he needs to win a championship. There is no question that Lundqvist is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, but to solidify his legacy he needs at least one Stanley Cup.
Just look at other great goaltenders in recent memory. Martin Brodeur has three rings, and even Jonathan Quick has one. Even Hall of Famers Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek have a championship on their resume. In some Rangers fans eyes, Lundqvist cannot be considered the best goaltender in franchise history because even Mike Richter, despite his records being broken by Lundqvist this year, was the backstop to the 1994 championship team. Just ask Lebron, when your nickname is The King, you need to back it up. If he wants to remain the king of the big apple, Lundqvist needs to bring home a ring to The Garden.
Last year Quick propelled the Kings, this year could be Lundqvist’s turn
Down 3 games to 2 and facing elimination, the New York Rangers once again would put the burden on their star 31-year-old goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. What they got in return was one of the greatest performances by a goaltender in recent memory. Lundqvist shut out the Capitals in both game 6 and 7 propelling the Rangers into the second round of the playoffs again the Boston Bruins. Lundqvist shut down one of the NHL’s most potent offensive units at a time when the Rangers offense couldn’t buy a goal. Not only did his 120 minutes of shut out play save the Rangers season, but also made a statement that no one should sleep on the blue shirts. We’ve seen it before, hot goaltending can propel any team to the Stanley Cup finals. It happened last year with the Kings, who behind the dominant emergence of Jonathan Quick went from the bottom of the barrel as the eighth seed, to the king’s of the hockey world. With Lundqvist’s recent hot streak, this year could be the year that the Rangers finally make it to the Stanley Cup
Lundqvist is the rock the Rangers need to win their first cup since 94
for the first time since 1994. While many experts believe that the Rangers offense will be the key for this team, as long as Lundqvist can continue to play at the high level he is capable of, then the Rangers will be in every game. Looking at the other teams in the Eastern conference, there is no question that the Rangers have the elite net minder. Rask, with the Bruins, is a very talented goaltender, but he is very inconsistent. One night he can turn in a shut out performance, but the next game allow five goals. Don’t even get me started with the Penguins. My god, sieves have fewer holes than Marc Andre-Fleury. Despite Thomas Vokoun’s performance, after replacing the incumbent Andre-Fleury, against the Nw York Islanders; he is a glorified backup that still hasn’t been tested. Sure he’s played two great games, but can he really keep up his performance against the Senators? Then the Senators, jeez talk about a revolving door between the pipes. They switch goalies so much I can’t even keep track anymore. Listen, I’m not saying it will be an easy road for the Rangers, because it never is, but the way King Henrik is playing and the recent resurgence of the dormant offense, this could finally be the year that the Rangers get back to the Stanley Cup Finals, and the year that King Henrik finally receives his crown.