Henrik Lundqvist struggled in the second half of the 2018-19 season, but New York Rangers president John Davidson that is behind him.
One of the major question marks surrounding the New York Rangers this season regards Henrik Lundqvist. Which version of Lundqvist will show up? Team president John Davidson thinks he knows the answer.
“I expect him to be Hank. And when Hank’s Hank, he’s pretty good,” Davidson said via Colin Stephenson of Newsday. Davidson added that he didn’t foresee any of the goaltenders playing “a huge amount of games.”
Lundqvist started 2018-19 on a roll, appearing in the All-Star game in back-to-back seasons. But the second half was a different story for the soon to be 38-year-old. Last year took a major toll on Lundqvist who openly admitted how the trade talk surrounding the team affected his play on the ice.
This season, the mental distraction of trade talks shouldn’t be around the team as often as they were the last two years. Instead, there is a new level of excitement surrounding Madison Square Garden, leading to what the Rangers hope is a rejuvenated Lundqvist.
Should Lundqvist rebound this year, the Rangers look to be much more dangerous than with him playing at an average or below-average pace. The Rangers are going to be much more talented after the additions of Artemi Panarin, Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov, and Jacob Trouba.
Davidson also addressed how he plans to keep the Rangers netminders fresh this year. Aside from Lundqvist, the Rangers have Alexandar Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin, who look to see playing time at the NHL level this year.
Having two competent goaltenders behind Lundqvist should help head coach David Quinn keep the veteran fresh.