Henrik Lundqvist’s Triumphant Return May Be Delayed


Ever since New York Rangers‘ starting goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, was sidelined with an injured blood vessel in his throat, fans have been anxiously awaiting his return to the Rangers’ starting lineup.  It was said that Lundqvist would make his return on Tuesday, March 24, against the the defending Stanley Cup Champion
Los Angeles Kings, at Madison Square Garden, however, it is now looking like the triumphant return of “The King” will be unfortunately pushed back.

Usually this would be disconcerting news because when a player’s return to the starting lineup after an injury is delayed, that usually means there was some kind of a setback.  This is not the case with Lundqvist, however.

According to Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post, Lundqvist’s wife has gone into labor and therefore he was unable to practice with his teammates today for the first time since his injury, close to two months ago.

With Rangers’ head coach,
Alain Vigneault, wanting Lundqvist to participate in at least one full practice before returning to the Rangers’ starting lineup.  Now usually with today being Friday, the team would have another practice before Tuesday but since the Rangers are playing back to back games on Saturday and Sunday, there will be no practice on Monday.  And according to Cyrgalis, Vigneault is not going to change his practice schedule and jeopardize the health of his entire team because of one player, no matter how important that player is to the team.

Luckily for the Rangers, backup goaltender Cam Talbot has really done a phenomenal job taking over as the defacto starter with Lundqvist out since early February.  If the Rangers were struggling to win games and were considerably dropping in the standings, you can bet that Vigneault would alter the team’s practice schedule, but since the Rangers have actually climbed in standings, not only in the Metropolitian Division but in the Eastern Conference and the entire league as well, there is no reason to rush Lundqvist back into the starting lineup.

Instead of Lundqvist returning to the Rangers’ starting lineup, and his crease, on Tuesday against the Kings, I would say look for him to return at the end of the week, either against the Ottawa Senators or one of next weekend’s back to back games vs. the Boston Bruins or Washington Capitals.

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These extra few days off, combined with the rest he has gotten since early February, should only benefit Lundqvist since he has arguably been overworked in every single season he has been in the league.

So let’s just sit back, relax, enjoy Talbot as the starter for a few more games and then before you know it Lundqvist will be back between the pipes; rested, rejuvenated, and ecstatic at the birth of his second child.

Everyone at Blue Line Station would like to wish Lundqvist and his wife the best of luck, sending good thoughts and prayers their way.

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