Even with the New York Giants gearing up for their rematch with the New England Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is doing his best to make sure the G-Men aren’t grabbing all the headlines in the Big Apple.
Fresh off of an All Star weekend, for which he served as an assistant captain on Team Alfredsson, King Henrik continued to show why so many consider him to be the best goaltender in the National Hockey League.
After sitting out on Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils, Lundqvist was back in action against the Buffalo Sabres. What turned into an incredible display of goaltending, from both him and Ryan Miller, ended up in a 1-0 victory from the Blueshirts, thanks to Lundqvist.
Lundqvist stopped 29 shots, five of them coming in overtime and was incredible in a shootout that included this save on Brad Boyes in the shootout.
The win gave Hank his 23rd of the year, and his sixth shutout, tops among all netminders in the NHL. It also brought his save percentage up to .939, also the best in the league, and dropped his goals-against average down to an absurd 1.82. The only goaltender with a better GAA is the Blues’ Brian Elliot, who was also involved in last weekend’s All Star festivities.
With 49 games played, the Rangers are tied for the most points in the entire league, with 69. The win on Wednesday against Buffalo gives them a three point lead in the Eastern Conference over Boston. They’re five ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers, who they will meet on Sunday.
Despite an offseason that saw them sign the big prize of Brad Richards, not many had pegged the Rangers as one of the very top teams in the East. If anything, they were just under the likes of Pittsburgh, Boston, and Philadelphia. He’s not doing it alone, but Lundqvist is the biggest reason why the Blueshirts have found so much success this season.
His numbers speak for themselves. He’s been absolute dynamite between the pipes for New York this season, and the 30-year-old seems to only be getting better with age. His performance against the Flyers in the Winter Classic showed that he’s capable of shining on one of the game’s biggest stages as well.
Though you could make an argument for a couple of others, it’s very difficult to make a case against Henrik Lundqvist as the best goalie in the NHL. If he can continue at this pace he’s on, or anything near it, he should prove it by taking home some hardware at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas this summer.