Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best goaltenders in the league. The New York Rangers net-minder won the Vezina trophy last year as the league’s top goalie.
Lundqvist is 31-years-old and in the peak of his career. But in order for the Rangers to make a run for the Stanley Cup, he is going to have to elevate his game to a whole different level.
In short, Lundqvist has to channel his inner Jonathan Quick if he wants to win a Cup for the Rangers. If you watched last year’s Los Angeles Kings team make its historic run in the playoffs, two things were clear: no one could play physical with them and no one could solve the brick wall that was Quick.
Now, the Rangers and Kings have distinct differences in their style of pla, but they both have elite goaltenders. The thing that put the Kings over was that their goalie refused to let anything into the net. Lundqvist must elevate his game to this level for the Rangers to go far in the playoffs.
Lundqvist will face more shots than most goalies because of the Rangers style of play. They are a defensive team that will sag their wingers down low to block shots, but they also give up few quality scoring chances in the slot and limit odd man rushes. This helps Lundqvist out in a big way.
New York’s netminder is in the prime of his career, but that time is dwindling down slowly. The Rangers and Lundqvist only have so many years left where they will be competitors, and the time for them to make a run is now.