Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers Henrik Lundqvist: Player Report Card

Player Name:

Henrik Lundqvist #30

Position:

Goaltender

Personal Stats:

Height- 6’1
Weight- 188 lbs.
Catches- Left

Season Numbers: 2013-2014

Games Played- 63
Wins- 33
Losses- 24
Over Time Losses- 5
Shutouts- 5
Goals Against Average- 2.36
Save %- .920
Average Time On Ice- 58:01

Strengths:

If I had to place my finger on one strength about Henrik Lundqvist, it would be his ability to focus. He was able to ignore all the negativity and concentrate on what mattered most, himself. He knew that only he controlled himself, no one else. Lundqvist has been the face of the New York Rangers franchise since his rookie year in 2005. However, this year did not start the way the Rangers or their fans envisioned. First, it was the contract negotiations. Next, it was the change in goalie equipment. After, it was his poor starts, sub par goalie performances, and lack of consistent wins. Then, it was the Olympics in Sochi. And the list went on and on. There were so many issues surrounding Lundqvist that some in the Rangers’ fan base called into question his status as the number one goalie. Some even went so far as to entertain trading “The King”. However, through it all, he emerged as the Lundqvist we have come to love and expect. He proved his doubters wrong. This season, we saw him become the franchise’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts, passing milestones set by Rangers’ greats Mike Richter and Eddie Giacomin. Also, he ended the season with over 30 wins for the eighth time in nine years, dating back to his rookie year.

Weaknesses:

In my opinion, there are some weaknesses to Lundqvist’s game. Mentally, this has been his strength and his weakness. He can become too passionate. At times when he gave up a goal, it seemed to affect him so much that it got him off his game. This was problematic early in the season with his struggles. But, he is a natural-born competitor. He expects nothing less than perfection. He should not be faulted for wanting to do his best. Fortunately, he regained his focus in the second half of the season. With outside distractions faded, Lundqvist concentrated on leading the Rangers to the promise land. Physically, two things to keep an eye on as the playoffs start. During the season, it appeared that he is vulnerable glove high as most teams seemed to focus on that area. Also, opponents found that crowding the net and crashing into “The King” were keys in beating him. With a tough first round opponent in the Philadelphia Flyers, he will need to overcome these adversities and stand tall among the wreckage of bodies. If he works on these things, the King will have his day.

Post Season Prediction:

As Lundqvist goes, so do the Rangers. It’s that simple. Fortunately, if things look bleak, backup goaltender Cam Talbot is capable of stepping into the crease. This was not a luxury afforded to Lundqvist or the Rangers in previous seasons. Also, with head coach Alain Vigneault‘s style of play and the team’s ability to be more offensively minded, the pressure of being the Rangers’ best player has been lifted, somewhat, off of the King’s shoulders. This should allow him to rest in between shifts. However, he will be the last line of defense; and, the difference between success or failure in the playoffs.

Tags: Henrik Lundqivst New York Rangers

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