Henrik Lundqvist finally got that trophy that’s eluded him since he came into the league. That’s the Vezina Trophy. For Lundqvist the trophy is something that he was missing on his shelf. There’s also a Stanley Cup ring that’s missing from his finger, but by the time he’s all set and done I think he’ll have that too. There’s also the Conn Smythe trophy that I think he will definitely win if the Rangers win the cup.
But back to the Vezina Trophy. I don’t think this trophy tells the story of Lundqvist and his season. I believe that the trophy awards the goalie who had the best overall season statistically. Lundqvist across the board was right up there with the best of the best. But the thing about Lundqvist is his consistency. Something that a lot of goalies in the league can’t sustain.
I argue that Lundqvist is the most consistent goalie post-lockout. Year after year, he always plays well and is extremely reliable to always be up there with the best goalies in the NHL. I don’t think he’ll post the best stats in the league every year, but he’ll be up there every single year.
Post-Lockout I’ve seen goalies go on absolute tears for one year and the next year they fall back to league average. Goalies like Ryan Miller, Miikka Kiprusoff, and Marc-Andre Fleury come to mind. Sure they’re all as good as anyone when they’re playing well, but too many times they regress to league average or worse goaltenders. Regressing to league average is something Lundqvist doesn’t do.
Seriously though where would the Rangers be without Lundqvist? To me this season if they had a league average goalie in net instead of him they’re fighting for a playoff spot. Maybe they make it, maybe they don’t. In the 06-07, 08-09, 10-11 seasons the Rangers are definitely not playing playoff hockey without Lundqvist. All the other seasons are questionable too without Lundqvist at the helm.
On another note this Vezina definitely helps solidify the fact that Lundqvist will definitely be the last number 30 to ever wear a Rangers uniform. In about 2years time if Lundqvist keeps pace he will have the best numbers of any Rangers goalie ever. He’s 50 wins away from surpassing Mike Richter on the all time wins list. I also think the Hall Of Fame is in Henrik’s future if he keeps this up. It’s even possible he’ll have 40o wins by the time he’s 35 years old.
Congratulations though to Henrik Lundqvist on a Vezina well earned.
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