Apr 4, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes a drink during a second period timeout against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Devils 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
The final piece to this comparing puzzle comes down in net.
During that most famous Game 6 against the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals, Mark Messier did play the role of hero. Although, many Blueshirts’ faithful will argue Mike Richter was the true hero of that game.
He was superb.
If it hadn’t been for Richter, Messier and the Rangers wouldn’t have had a shot to make their epic comeback and force Game 7.
Oh yeah, and this one:
Richter was a guy who always seemed to come up huge when the moment needed it the most.
Lundqvist must once again match Richter’s big-game heroics.
No Stanley Cup winning team can make it through with average goaltending. Fortunately for the Rangers they have that piece locked down with Lundqvist, and even Cam Talbot should disaster strike in some crazy fashion.
Furthermore, the comparisons between Ryan McDonagh and Brian Leetch are tough.
Both guys are two completely different players. However, Leetch made a name for himself in 1994. Although he was already among the league’s best prior to those playoffs, his play stepped up another 10 levels during those 23-magical games in the Spring of ’94.
McDonagh will need to do the same thing in 2015 if the Rangers have any designs on bringing the Stanley Cup back to New York City.
We know the captain can play defense. We know he’s as solid as a defenseman you’ll find around this league.
The question will be this: can he up his game to Leetch-status come playoff time?
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