Two games off have helped Henrik Lundqvist heal physically, but he admits his decision-making must improve for the Rangers to contend.
The King of New York is trying to find his game. In nine games, he’s gone 2-4-2 with a 3.11 goals against average and a .900 save percentage, which is well below his career average of .919.
Lundqvist also struggled during a period of the season last year, where at one point former Ranger Antti Raanta played four games consecutively as Hank tried to find his game. As every year goes by now, it seems it’s harder for him to find his way back on track. Henrik thinks a lot of his issues involve decisions he makes on the ice during games.
“It’s a fast game, but all it takes is a bad decision here or there, it’s the difference,” Lundqvist told Newsday‘s Steve Zipay. “Sometimes you get ahead of the play, analyze it too much as it happens; my game is all about decisions, I don’t rely on size or speed, I rely on good decisions, that’s something I’m working on in practice. I just need to bring it in games, all the time.”
The 2017-18 season has been different from past years where Henrik was able to get some early wins under his belt before going into a funk. This year he has struggled early, as has the entire team.
“You see a lot of games now in the league where there’s blowouts… there’s just a different type of hockey right now,” said Lundqvist. “As a goalie, if you’re not on top of it every night, you’re not going to have your results unless you really push yourself to stay on top of things…It keeps you honest, where you’re at with your game all the time.”
With some tough games coming up this week against Las Vegas (Tuesday), at Tampa Bay (Thursday) and at Florida (Saturday), Lundqvist needs to figure out where his game has gone—and how to make better decisions—quickly.
Otherwise, the Rangers can forget about climbing out of the Metropolitan Division’s basement.