We are just two months from the beginning of the NHL season and with that in mind we will take a look at where Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist ranks among the elite.
All Blueshirt fans I think should be in agreement that the top spot would have to go to none other than Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins. Thomas set a NHL record with .938 save percentage and won the Vezina Trophy, Conn Smythe, and Stanley Cup all in the matter of a few weeks. He shut down teams in the playoffs with a 1.98 GAA.
Next at number two is Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. While Luongo has been shaky in the playoffs his numbers in the regular season are stellar, including a 2.11 GAA last year. Luongo is what Peyton Manning in the NFL use to be before he won a championship, and Bobby Lou still has some years left in him to get a cup.
Third, is Penguins netminder is Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury is a goalie who tends to get overlooked in NHL, while he post some very good numbers and has won a Stanley Cup. Despite playing a lot of the season without Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and some other key players along the way including Chris Kunitz on two occasions, the man they call Flower posted a 2.32 GAA and .918 save percentage.
Finally, we get to King Henrik who comes in at number four. Since his debut in 2005 Lundqvist has been nothing short of amazing posting a 2.24 GAA, .922 save percentage, and notching 30 wins in his rookie year. On March 12, 2009 against the Nashville Predators Henke became the first goalie to have 30+ wins in his first four seasons, he has now done so in his first six seasons. Lundqvist has never had a season with a GAA higher than 2.43 and averages a shut out every 11.6 games.
Despite having a very inept offense, watching Marian Gaborik disappear last year in the playoffs, and being dispatched in five games Lundqvist posted a 2.26 GAA and a .917 save percentage. With the signing of Brad Richards to bolster the offense this could help get Henrik some more wins and maybe a deeper playoff run. Look for the king to add another 30 win season and continue to be an elite goalie for years to come.