Monday, May 3, 2010

The NYR Facts Of Life: #30 Henrik Lundvist

For each player who suited up in a Blueshirt this season we will take the good, we will take the bad and take them both and see what we have. It's time to take a look at the King, #30 Henrik Lundqvist.

#30's #s: 73 games, 35-27-10, 2.38 g.a.a., .920 save %, four shutouts.

Take the good: No migraines, no family issues and no defense in front of him allowed and forced Henrik to play at the top of his game, and on many nights he did. How many teams has a blueline like the Blueshirts with two rookies, two other kids and two fatally flawed veterans? He faced the third-most shots and played the second-most amount of regular season games and yet Hank finished in the top 10 in g.a.a. and save %. To accumulate the numbers that he did and to bring the Rangers to within a shootout of the playoffs was a herculean undertaking and he came out of it a better leader. His interviews took a different tone this season with less cliches, more honesty and a willingness to give credit or take the bullet when appropriate.

Take the bad: You saw his interview in the locker room after the Philly game, Hank was exhausted. After putting on a career performance during regulation and overtime, he just didn't have enough for the skills competition and that says something. While his scary trips away from the crease decreased this season, his tendency to give up a soft goal (or two) at bad times remained the same. He needed to be perfect and he wasn't. Without Tom Renney's defensive system and some of the players who made it successful (*cough, cough, Bettsy, cough, cough, Sjostrom, cough*), his imperfection cost the Rangers a chance to play on in April.

Take them both and then we have: Atlas holding the Ranger world up. There is no doubt that without Lundqvist, the Rangers would have been a lottery team. At the same time, eventually the King's shoulders couldn't carry the load. As we've seen from Miikka Kiprusoff, a lot of regular season action leads to a short postseason. Or none at all.

1 comment:

noah said...

good analysis, although i must say:

we were a lottery team