No matter the level of culpability Alain Vigneault is responsible for, New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist must stop Kyle Turris in overtime.

Marc Staal is an issue. Nick Holden scares fans to death when he’s playing defense in his own zone. Certain forwards such as J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes haven’t really shown up during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, accounting for zero total goals thus far.

Then there’s Alain Vigneault. Yes, that man, the New York Rangers head coach who the fans love to hate so very much. AV deserves much blame for how this series has turned out up to this point. Not only did he fail to allow burgeoning stud Brady Skjei to play late in Game 2 (the last Rangers late-game collapse), he did the same in Game 5.

Remarkably, Skjei didn’t see the ice for the final five minutes of regulation.

Even still, AV isn’t the lone culprit.

In overtime on Saturday afternoon, future hall of fame hockey goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, must stop Kyle Turris.

Dan Girardi was completely wiped out of the play thanks to the shot block that miraculously came back to Turris. Ryan McDonagh was then forced to make a difficult decision. He could of either forced Turris’s hand a little bit by attacking him or did what he did in making sure Lundqvist was able to take Turris one-on-one, mano-y-mano.

As per usual, McDonagh allowed The King to take the Ottawa Senators sharpshooter one-one-one.

Lundqvist failed miserably.

Turris, who tallied 27 goals during the regular campaign, Threw a softie at Hank that found its way under his left pad.

For a man who so desperately wants to engrave his name and touch that Stanley Cup, a goal like this during the most pivotal moment of the game simply cannot happen. Instead, Lundqvist needs to make the legendary stop and say, “Alright boys, I have your back so go out and win the game.” He needs to make AV’s decisions and the defense play as irrelevant as humanly possible.

For those who are used to the MSG Network broadcast, former Ranger backup goalie to Lundqvist and MSG analyst Steve Valiquette, always sings the praises of the great 30. He’s always ripping off mind-blowing stats about not only the current game of hockey, but Lundqvist’s statistical output.

When Lundqvist is faced in a one-on-one situation with a clean look, his percentage of making the stop is top-notch.

[graphiq id=”48Z50FCyUHH” title=”Henrik Lundqvist” width=”500″ height=”810″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/48Z50FCyUHH” ]

This Turris goal was a clean one-on-one look yet very few will get on Hank.

Part of the reason any of the 16 hockey clubs can stun the world and earn a championship is because the goalie can alter much of the action. Like a starting pitcher in baseball, the goalie position becomes that wild card.

Since 2006, Lundqvist and Rangers winning have been synonymous with one another. The Rangers turnaround has directly correlated with the back of Lundqvist’s card. And while the turnaround could be mainly attributed with the lockout, forcing Glen Sather to build from within, fans adore No. 30 due to Lundqvist’s stature.  

“The Lundqvist Era” of Rangers hockey is a real thing.

Unfortunately, this era too closely resembles another great New York City era that didn’t result in a championship: the Patrick Ewing New York Knicks. From an individual standpoint, many can call it the “Derek Jeter effect.” Jeter is beloved as the cog in the New York Yankees dynasty and impressive nearly two decades of work.

In 12 seasons with New York, Lundqvist has only missed the playoffs once.

Under the same breath, he still doesn’t have a Cup and it’s not simply a matter of fault in relation to everybody around him.

He does, indeed, bail out the Rangers at times. Against the Montreal Canadiens, he stood on his head for the most part. In this series, he’s also shown legendary flashes.

But when it team needs it the most — as was the case in overtime on Saturday — Lundqvist sometimes doesn’t come through.

He simply hasn’t been able to every put together a full playoff string of legendary goaltening play. One night he’ll be tremendous. Another night he’ll be good. Then the next night he may be average to below average.

On Saturday, he was good. He played wonderfully for the most part.

The problem is “the most part” isn’t good enough unless your team is flawless around you, and in almost every case for every goalie, that’s never the case.

If Henrik Lundqvist wants the cup, he needs to stand on his head seven out of seven nights, not five out of seven. Sometimes, the big stop in overtime is much more important than two sparkling saves in regulation.

You can blame Vigneault and Staal all you want if it makes you feel better, but if you’d like to be fair, you must throw Lundqvist into the blame game as well.

If he wants that Cup, he needs to be legendary on a consistent basis. From what we’ve seen, he’s just not “legendary” material. He’s very very good, just not immortal.

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU


34 COMMENTS

    • I’m right here. Explain why I’m “retarded” (am awesome word to use by the way whole there are so many mentally challenged kids out there who never receive a fair shake in life).

      Stop being a pom-pom waving Lundqvist fan and explain why I’m retarded.

      Fact is, you’re probably a little kid who’s just “found” the Rangers the last few years and still love in your mama’s basement.

      What’s for dinner tonight?

      Were you old enough to see Richter play? Do you even know who Richter is? Lundqvist is overall better than Richter, but has never been able to make the big save on such a consistent basis like Richter did.

      How old are you?

      So many questions, yet I’ll receive no answers.

      Get upstairs. It’s almost dinner time.

      • You’re mentally challenged, hence why you’re retarded.

        Not only am I old enough to have seen richter play, I was at the parade in 1994, and have met him since. I’ve conversed with him, actually about lindqvist, and he says that Hank is the best goalie to ever play for the NYR. But of course some fat dude with a bad blog would know better.

        As for your misogynistic comment, I’ll stand firm in the original assessment that you’re mentally challenged and let it slide. Dinner time? What an assbag you are. I’m sorry being called out for the stupid shit you “wrote” gave you the sads. Wait, no I’m not.

        Seriously, you’re a moron.

        • When you comment, BRING something to the table. Not just, “You’re a retard.” That makes YOU look bad.

          “Misogynistic” comment? You’re calling people RETARDS and you’re gonna get on somebody else?

          Disagree with me all you want. Don’t say “retard.” That’s just lazy and stupid.

          • I didn’t say “retard”, and your misuse of quotes is duly noted.

            I said I think you might be retarded and you’ve proven it. You are retarded by definition.

          • Coward. Put a face and a name to your idiocy. Maybe after you pick enough of your own teeth or have some brain damage you won’t be so free with the “r” word? Not to mention you are an EMBARRASSMENT to Ranger fans world wide.

          • Let’s recap this idiocy here. Triggered internet tough guy makes bold threats to someone who took issue with the stupidest fucking opinion on the internet.

            The “r” word? Retarded is a legit description of the assclownery displayed by you and Robby.

            Any more empty threats you want to make, little guy?

        • OH, that’s right…you still haven’t brought ONE SINGLE PIECE of evidence or opinion to the table for WHY I’m a retard (in referring to the above words in the article).

          I’ll be here when you do.

          ***94: who scored the last goal in Game 7 for the Rangers? It was credited to Messier, but he actually didn’t touch the puck. Tell me who scored that goal and I’ll actually believe for a moment you’re a real Rangers fan.

          • You’re a fucking idiot. I don’t have to bring a shred of evidence to the table when your entire premise is built on fantasy. I don’t have to refute a point to a dumbass who wrote “should of” instead of should have. I’m not going to explain hockey to a mental midget like you, who clearly looks at the box score alone and thinks he is a student of the game.

            You’re a “writer” in your mind, but a hack in reality, yet you critique a professional athlete like you’ve ever played the game. You’re laughable.

            And enough with the 94 trivia, it proves nothing when I can fucking google the answer as easily as you googled the question. You were what, a fetus in 94? Fuck off.

          • It was Brian Noonan…..and I agree with you on Hank. He’s a great goaltender but sometime he lets in soft ones. But in his defense, he does have some terrible defensemen playing in front of him.

          • I’ll say this though, Richter had a similar reputation until he finally won a Cup. Remember the goal against Pittsburgh in the ’92 playoffs, when Ron Francis scored from a shot just inside the blue line? Or the goal Richter let in from a weak Dave Babych shot in Game 5 of the Finals against Vancouver, just after the Rangers climbed out of a 3-0 hole to tie the score? Winning has a way of erasing bad memories. I agree that Lundquist deserves some of the blame when he has a bad game, but we should be careful not to expect too much.

          • Richter did, but it feels like he makes the “big” stop more. There’s no questions who’s better and who’s the greater Ranger, but Richter seemed to have come up BIG more often.

            Here’s the biflg difference …Richter wasn’t the cornerstone of the franchise. Lundqvist is. By taking $8.5M in a salary cap situation, Hank put himself in a situation in which he MUST be the bestbplayer no matter what.

            He’s been the highest paid NFL goalie for many years now and hasn’t truly played spectacularly for an entire playoffs yet. He’s new great at times. very good other times. Average on some passions. That can’t happen when you take up so much of the salary cap pie.

            Everybody talks about a week defense. Lundqvist had the BEST defense under Tortorella. Klein was playing like a 1st pairing guy in the 3rd pairing. Steadman, same thing on the second pairing.

          • I was one of the few fans who thought the Rangers should have kept Talbot and traded Hank. His salary is just too much to pay an aging goalie in today’s salary cap era. And not every team who wins the Cup has an elite goaltender. The Hawks won with Niemi, and he can barely string together two wins in a row in Dallas. I also think Hank got exposed the last two playoffs by elite forwards in Pittsburgh and Tampa. But I can’t put all the blame on him and understand you weren’t either. I agree that he deserves part of the blame though. Good article.

          • The article is about hank needing to make the stop on Turris. It’s NOT about blaming Lundqvist for all the Rangers troubles.

          • Can you block or ban him? I am about five seconds from finding him and removing his empty head LOL

          • Internet threats? Whoa, big tough guy.

            And all because this little idiot can’t write or take criticism.

      • Also, so many typos in a “blog” from a “writer.” Lucky for you the net exists, or you’d be asking teens if they want to upsize their value meals.

        • Really? Typos in Disqus comments?

          This coming from a person who has a DISQUS account and comments on various articles on the “net.” Hey, I own the site. You can keep commenting but when you do it here, BRING SOMETHING LEGIT TO THE TABLE.

          • You’re telling me I’m lucky the NET exists? You have over 5,000 DISQUS comments and actually took the time to set your account to private. You’re a bully who hides behind a computer screen (no name, no picture).

            Instead, why don’t you bring an “original thought” to the table once in awhile?

            This will be the last comment I write, I shouldn’t have engaged with somebody like you in the first place. The word “retarded” is just from pure EVIL.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca4bb661811fcc2009da7d02385713afb1d5a2649709478e10dc587877f9e10c.png

          • A bully? Lmao!!!

            The word retarded is a legit word, if you possessed a vocabulary higher than 3rd grade you’d know that.

            I wondered if you were retarded, you have proven you are. your intelligence was stunted.

            My posts are private because I am none of your business. When I’m talking to you, you’ll know.

          • Awwww wassamatta? You sad cuz your boyfriend can’t handle criticism?

            Haha, too bad.

          • Dude your hack article is rife with errors. You’re an embarrassment to the English language.

          • You’re a writer asshole, typos in any comments shouldn’t be coming from you.

            Be happy anyone is engaging your irrelevant ass. You own the site? Congrats. Now fuck off, you need to own a dictionary or spell check.

  1. I second the opinion of MjrMissConduct. You might indeed be retarded. Throwing Lundqvist under the bus for his performance (.930 in these playoffs) with a weak defensive squad and AV’s ridiculous personnel decisions is dumb. Maybe you thought you would get page views, and as a up-and-coming retired writer, I don’t blame you, but cutting up your hall-of-fame bound goalie is just stupid.

    Outside of that, I can write for an hour about high-danger save percentages and the underlying analytics for guys like Girardi, Staal and Glass, but you aren’t smart enough to understand the sport so I won’t waste my time. Weak writers always blame the best player on the team. That’s why “Elite Sports NY” will be the highlight of your life.

    • you brought something LEGIT to the table. She did not.

      In your case, I can’t disagree with you.

      Hank has been standing on his head…for the most part. Look at the last 3 games on the road. average to above average at best.

      Does AV and Staal hurt him? yes. But I’m sorry, I’m not gonna be a blind follower…he gotta make that stop against Turris in a one on one off angle situation.

      How anybody can disagree with that is beyond me.

      • If you use the “r” word, I don’t think you are mature and/or intelligent enough to be on the “Interwebs”

  2. This goalie has been standing on his head in the playoffs almost entirely his whole career, single handedly with shot blocking teams such as from the torts era and now you want to bash him? He’s had stinkers, but most of those fall on the players in front of him. Even the best playoff goalies of all time never were legendary “seven out if seven nights.” I cannot help but to disagree with you here, elimination game stats simply reinforce that.

    • But we haven’t won the cup, so his elimination games are just gravy with no potatoes (for now) 🙂

    • Yet this fantastic writer blames him.

      He has zero concept of the game and expects the “real fans” to fact check his stupidity.

  3. People will freak that you dare criticize Lunqdvist (I love him too – and I mean LOVE) but I found NOTHING in this article that didn’t ring with some truth. Well done and hope Henry can flip this “elite” switch before 7PM tuesday

    • I LOVE him too. Freaking the love the guy. I’m a Knicks fan as well and LOVED Ewing during the 90s. But I can’t be totally blind. I’ll be BLIND while rooting, and then after it’s over, try to explain what I see.

      It’s just the way the REAL diehard fans work. The pom-pom waving fans are blind to the truth.

  4. MjrMissConduct .. what you commented yesterday wasn’t “criticism.” In fact, you still haven’t brought anything LEGIT to the table in terms of WHY the point of the article is incorrect, “Hank must stop Turris in OT.”

    All you did was call somebody a “retard.” That’s not criticism. That’s just pure ignorance.

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