Henrik Lundqvist
Bruno Rouby, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Rangers are approaching a difficult “fork in the ice”. Could Henrik Lundqvist’s phenomenal play and subliminal encouraging public remarks dictate a rerouted rebuild midseason?

Watching a friend chase a girl with dreams of scoring the big goal, only to see him repeatedly given high fives and kisses on the forehead is gut-wrenching. Just as gut-wrenching watching Henrik Lundqvist his entire New York Rangers career.

A career full of blue pucks, Lundqvist has been chasing a Stanley Cup with the same team that drafted him 205th overall back in 2000.

Hank came his closest in 2013-14 when the LA Kings ruined it all from the Rangers and their goaltender in five games. So close, yet so far, year after year. Which is what led the Rangers organization to write a letter to their fans. Explaining the team’s decision to look towards the future and enter a rebuild mode.

Last season the Rangers began their look to the future by trading everyone or anything they could. If it was the property of the Blueshirts, it was on the trading block. Captain, veterans, even fan favorites were going out in order to get early round draft picks back in.

The ’18-’19 season was clearly being shaped before the end of the ’17-’18. The Blueshirt faithful were to be patient and expect nothing during the rebuilding process. That was the plan anyway, but things don’t always go the way a person anticipates.

At first glance, the Rangers current record is vastly misleading. With the exception of two games, each Rangers loss were games that the team easily could have won. Most of, if not all, the reason the Rangers are able to be competitive each game is the superhuman ability of Henrik Lundqvist.

This is the same Henrik Lundqvist who was rumored to be slower, less agile, due to his age. Funny how people judge and criticize Hank, yet never played an organized sport in their life. But that’s for another time.

Henrik thinks the team is good enough to make the playoffs with the current roster. Saying he sees the potential with his teammates and that they are close.

In Henrik’s eyes, the Rangers are doing good things and are only one or two plays away from winning. Saying something like this could be taken as Lundqvist not meaning one or two plays, but, one or two players. Is “The King” calling for a stop to the rebuild?

Maybe. The addition of a couple talented players would make sense if Hank is truly serious.

If his play continues to be that of “The King” and the team in front of him keeps up with their shocking progress, will ownership halt the present plan? If that’s the direction the front office goes, it will be gutsy.

The moves for major players instead of staying the course of the rebuild will no doubt be in an effort to get Henrik Lundqvist his Stanley Cup with his New York Rangers team, one last time.

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