Staten Island, N.Y. - When it rains it pours I guess. But for goaltender Henrik Lundqvist it seems as if is stuck out in a monsoon without an umbrella right now. With the Rangers losing Ryan Callahan & Rick Nash, not having Carl Hagelin back in the lineup, most of the pressure has been on Lundqvist’s shoulders. With the exception of two games, he’s buckled under pressure.
In futures past, Hank always seems to get off to slow starts in the month of October. As do the Rangers, but with a bigger division now with decent teams slow starts can come back to haunt you in March/April.
As I’ve pointed out in previous articles, Lundqvist is dealing with smaller pads this season. Granted they’re not THAT much smaller but still may be enough to mentally effect his game. He looks to be jumpy and indecisive with his movements. Aside for the LA and Washington games we really haven’t seen him “settle down” in a game. Lets look at the facts right now on his season:
Phoenix – 5 goals
LA – 1 goal
San Jose – 4 goals in 29 minutes
Anaheim – 6 goals
St. Louis – 1 goal (relieved Biron in 3rd)
Washington – 0 goals
NJ – 4 goals
Lundqvist isn’t in the top 10, top 20 or even top 30 in ranked goaltenders right now. He’s a mere 42nd in the league.
– 3.45 GAA & an .890 Saves Percentage.
Numbers unheard of for Lundqvist.
Now while the offense continues to be juggled with new players coming in and out of the lineup, right now the Rangers need Lundqvist to play like the Vezina winner from 2 season ago. At least until this team gets healthy, they’re going to continue to ride him in the hope of finding some wins.
With nearly a week in between games, it should give Henrik Lundqvist time to collect all the loose marbles rolling around in his head. It gives time for players to get healthy. But next Thursday when they go into Philadelphia to play the Flyers, they’re going to have a tough contest. Philly is struggling just like the Devils were last night, but they’re just as hungry for points. I look to Lundqvist to find his game in Philly, why? Well he always dominates Philadelphia, & he’ll need to do so next Thursday night in hostile territory or else you can find many of blueshirts faithful looking for the knifes or a ledge to jump from. Just like fellow writer, Shawn Taggart wrote “Breathe Easy: The Only Way Is Up”. (Or so we hope).
Feel free to comment and share opinions.