New York Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist has had a rough start at the World Cup, but there is evidence to suggest he will be just fine.
You know something is wrong when the New York Rangers’ fan base is proving to be more level-headed about Henrik Lundqvist than the members of the NHL media.
The analysts were in somewhat of an uproar over Team Sweden’s 6-2 exhibition loss to Team Europe, a game in which Lundqvist was yanked from his throne.
Brian Boucher of the NHL Network had this to say about The King:
“This is uncharacteristic of Lundqvist who is usually very sharp, he did not look sharp in the prelim games and it gets more difficult as you get older to come in and be sharp like you are in the middle of the season.”
Was this performance really uncharacteristic of Lundqvist? Should Rangers fans be worried about this upcoming season?
The short answer is no.
Any Blueshirt fan who has watched Hank play over the past decade, or even the past few years for that matter, understands that he usually struggles at the beginning of the year.
Still worried? Well, let’s take a look at his numbers from the past three years.
Here are Lundqvist’s wins and losses:
As you can see, Hank broke the 30 win barrier for the past three seasons. In fact, the was only one season in which he didn’t reach this milestone (2012-13).
Now let’s take a look at what Hank’s record looked like through the first couple weeks of December from the past three years.
As you can see, these numbers are not exactly stellar, and the irony is that Hank had one of the worst starts in his career the very year the Rangers made an appearance at the Stanley Cup Final (2013-14).
Some folks are pointing to a possible rib injury that occurred back in early September as the possible catalyst to Lundqvist’s shaky international play.
Hank doesn’t seemed worried.
Perhaps Hank is just finally feeling his age after years of wear and tear?
Some of the best goalies in recent history had their best years in the second act of their respective careers. Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, and Dominik Hasek are just three goalies whose play only became stronger as their careers progressed.
Henrik Lundqvist should certainly be mentioned in the same breath as these goalies when he finally hangs up the skates, the only difference being that the aforementioned players all won multiple Stanley Cups.
If Hank could help the Rangers win a Cup, he will undoubtedly go down as the best goalie in Rangers’ history, and one of the better players in NHL history.
In the meantime, New York Ranger fans should rest easy knowing that Hank will be just fine in 2016-17.
Hey, it’s better that Sweden experiences a rusty Henrik rather than the Rangers, right?