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Mar 22, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) celebrates an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (not shown) during the third period at Prudential Center. The Rangers defeated the Devils 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Resurgence of Henrik Lundqvist

Coming back from the Olympics in Sochi, there was some question about how New York Rangers goaltender and face of the franchise, Henrik Lundqvist would play. He was in a horrible slump after the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. In his first three games back, one against the Philadelphia Flyers, one against the Boston Bruins, and one against the Toronto Maple Leafs, his save percentages were all below .900. So after those three games there was some initial concern that Lundqvist wasn’t going to have a strong finish to the season after going into the Olympics playing his best hockey.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

However, after getting over his Silver Medal “hangover”, Lundqvist has recovered strongly and has bounced back to his regular form, and in his eight games that followed, he went 6-2 with two shutouts, and set two franchise records. Lundqvist passed Mike Richter for the all time wins record and passed Ed Giacomin for the shutout record. In those eight games, only one of those ended with a save percentage less than .900 which was the 8-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators, it’s very hard to fault Lundqvist for that however because the defense decided to stay home.

So what does any of this mean for the Rangers? This is the best thing that could be happening for the Rangers right now. Lundqvist is, without a doubt, the best player on the Rangers’ team. If he’s playing well, that usually means the whole team is playing well and as luck would have it the team is playing well. Lundqvist looks like the goaltender who has carried the team for the last decade and will continue to do it for the next decade. However, before we get to the next decade, will Lundqvist carry the Rangers through the playoffs? Right now it certainly looks that way.

 

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