Henrik Lundqvist, the face of the New York Rangers, will miss the 20-win mark for the first time in his career.
The King has struggled this season through a tough rebuilding year. With the team’s 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night, Hank’s streak of 20-win seasons is the latest culprit to take a hard hit.
Lundqvist began his great career with the Blueshirts in the 2005-06 season appearing in 53 games. His record that year was 30-12-9. He reached the 20-win plateau every season after until this year where he has 18 with possibly one more game to play.
Though the Rangers have two games remaining on their schedule, head coach David Quinn announced that Alexandar Georgiev would get the start in the team’s final home game Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hence, the streak is over.
The goalie’s failure to reach the 20-win mark coincides with the team’s failure to win consistently. But make no mistake about it, the 37-year-old goaltender has lost a few steps in his game. His record since February shows how bad things have gone for Hank.
His numbers since Feb. 2 are quite bad. In 16 games, Henrik has only managed to win two games. Along with 11 losses and three overtime losses, his .906 save percentage is the worst at any time in his Rangers career.
Hank has suffered from some poor play in front of him as the Rangers defense has not played well over the last two months.
The focus and concentration fans are so used to seeing from Hank has been missing from his game the second half of the season. He seems to be overthinking plays, letting the easier shots get by him and leaving big rebounds.
Hank has never gone through a season like this as a Ranger. Normally at this time of the year, he is preparing for the playoffs and working on the little things that need to be corrected.
Instead, Hank is facing a second consecutive year of cleaning his locker out in early April, with no light at the end of the tunnel. He also has a new dilemma that he has never dealt with before.
There is a very good chance that the King will not be the number one goalie when the season begins next October.