The Camundrum: Should Talbot Start Over the King?


Talbot has been sensational since taking over the starting role

When Henrik Lundqvist went down earlier this year with a neck injury many Ranger fans felt that the injury would derail the team’s season. While Lundqvist is expected to return next week to the lineup, it may not be an easy return for the King.

Many expected that New York’s season would take a dive after losing their star player. Instead they have thrived behind their young goaltender Cam Talbot who has made it very interesting for the Rangers moving forward.

Talbot has been spectacular in the goal helping propel the Rangers into first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 17-6-4 record, 2.19 GAA, and .926 save percentage. Currently, Talbot’s statistics, including winning percentage are higher than Lundqvist’s totals this season.

There is no question that Lundqvist is still one of if not the best goaltenders in the NHL. However, after suffering a severe injury like the one Lundqvist is a hard one to overcome quickly. When he is on, there is no question that Lundqvist is the team’s starter. Still, he needs to prove that he is 100% healthy before New York relies on him to carry the team throughout the playoffs.

If Lundqvist struggles should the Rangers stick with the King or ride the hot hand in Talbot ?

If Lundqvist struggles should the Rangers stick with the King or ride the hot hand in Talbot ?

However, if Lundqvist struggles in his return before the playoffs it might be better for this team to do the unthinkable, bench the King. In the NHL Playoffs it’s the team with the better goaltender or hotter goaltender at the time that makes a run. Given how well Talbot has played this season and if Lundqvist is not at 100%, it makes sense to start the player who gives the team the best chance to win.

Even though the Rangers will probably start Lundqvist no matter how he plays in his return, the organization should keep a short leash on him in the playoffs. If he does not play well in a series, the Rangers should not be afraid to pull their star goaltender and play the hot hand.

The Rangers have the potential to not only make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals, but to win their first championship since 1994. However, they will need strong goaltending to get there and will need to figure out who gives them the best chance to win. The King or Cam Talbot?


Shark Bait: San Jose Blows 3-0 Lead

Once again despite their talent, the Sharks are out early

Once again despite their talent, the Sharks are out early

What a difference a week makes! After embarrassing the Los Angeles Kings in three consecutive games,  the San Jose Sharks once again gave their fan base the illusion of a Stanley Cup Contender. They had even done the impossible, make Jonathan Quick, one of the games best goaltenders, look like a turnstile with 17 goals to open up the series. However, the Sharks forgot that you have to win four games to advance.

After a 4-3 victory in LA for game 3, the Sharks folded like a cheap accordion. Forget about a collapse, talk about an implosion. In their final four games San Jose was outscored 18-5, and even that makes it sound closer than it actually was. Watching their pitiful performance last night, it was apparent that this team wasn’t even close to playing inspired hockey. Forget about still on the bus, the Sharks looked like they never made the trip back home. One thing is clear, the Sharks time is running out. In what can only be described as the decade dynasty of Despite this, in those ten years they have never played in a Stanley Cup Final and have lost in three conference finals even with high conference seedings and home ice advantage. Something needs to change in San Jose.

It’s great that the team is in the playoffs, but terrible that they can never deliver. Sharks fans should be embarrassed by the pitiful showing of this team in the playoffs. After this postseason it is clear that the San Jose Sharks are no predator in the National Hockey League. Instead, they are just shark bait for the Western Conference.

The King and the ring

Does the King and need a ring?

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.

All Hail the King!! Lundqvist leads the Rangers

Last year Quick propelled the Kings, this year could be Lundqvist's turn

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

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.