Henrik Lundqvist has been a staple in the Rangers organization since the end of the first full NHL lockout. Now, as he nears the end of his career, desperate for a championship, the question remains; is he doing too much work?
The phrase “dumpster fire” can be used to best describe the Rangers season. As it stands now with 20 points in 20 games, the team looks like they are heading straight for the golf course in April. This is for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, the team has been extremely inconsistent and at times is simply not playing well. The second issue is that Lundqvist has not been as good as you’d expect him to be.
His role this season
Despite a recent six-game surge, the Rangers do not look as good as many expected before the season started. They are showing defensive flaws and are placing a heavy burden on Lundqvist.
Henrik Lundqvist is nothing short of a generational talent. However, as we can see, he is still human. This season, with a team that is failing to produce on both sides of the puck, Lundqvist has been asked to act as the first and last line of defense.
Too much work
The past two seasons are not ones that Rangers fans or Henrik Lundqvist want to remember. Lundqvist posted both his career-low goals-against average and save percentage last season and it would seem his mediocre play has carried over into this season.
17 games into the new season, Lundqvist has faced 567 shots and has allowed 48 goals. His save percentage is just over .908% and his GAA sits at a mediocre 2.98. In addition, he posted 8 quality starts out of the first 15 he started which is just about average according to Hockey-Reference.
The stats can only get worse for Lundqvist if the Rangers continue to play as poorly as they did to start the season. The team as a whole needs to improve as well.
What it means
The play of Lundqvist has been mediocre, to say the least. In the past few seasons, Rangers fans have been coming to the realization that Lundqvist is not the same player he was in years past.
The Rangers need to make sure they don’t overload their veteran goalie. If they do, their chances of making the playoffs might sink.