Is Henrik Lundqvist Already The New York Rangers’ Greatest Goaltender Of All-Time?

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

According to CBS Sports’ Eye On Hockey, today they picked the New York Rangers‘ all-time team.  Most of the positions were easy to pick, but goaltender was by far the hardest position for them to pick, as they mentioned in their article.

For the Rangers’ best goaltender of all-time, they chose Henrik Lundqvist over both Mike Richter and Eddie Giacomin.  Did they make the right choice?

As a Rangers fan, I would have to respectfully disagree.  Yes, Lundqvist is a stellar goaltender and I would say he has more talent than Richter and Giacomin ever had.  But there is one thing that Richter has that Lundqvist doesn’t, and that is a Stanley Cup championship.

Now I know a lot of Rangers’ fans do not care about this because hockey is a team sport and individuals cannot win Stanley Cups, but I still feel it is a valid point.

In 1994, Richter was on top of his game and played like a man on a mission all the way to the finals and winning the cup. Richter got what Lundqvist doesn’t get most of the time, however, and that is goal scoring help.  The ’94 Rangers had some great goal scorers which the Blueshirts have not had in pretty much Lundqvist’s entire career with the team.

Lundqvist, though, has had some questionable playoff performances in the past and is prone to giving up cheap goals at bad times. But if you look at Lundqvist’s work in the Rangers’ last two or three playoff appearances, you would easily see that he was the only reason why the Rangers made it as far as they did.

If you look at all-time stats, Richter has more wins than Lundqvist and would have even more if his career wasn’t cut short due to concussion problems.  But nonetheless, with Lundqvist only 25 wins behind Richter, barring any injuries, Lundqvist will be the Rangers’ all-time leader in wins. But maybe not much more than Richter as Lundqvist is still an unrestricted free agent after this upcoming season as this article is being written.

Overall, I still think Richter should be the Rangers best goalie of all-time until either Lundqvist wins a cup or he wins a ton more games with the Rangers to blow away Richter’s franchise record and stay with the Blueshirts for many years to come.  I prefer winning the cup over the latter.

What do you think?

Lundqvist or Richter?

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  • mgweissman

    Well, I do agree with the argument that Hank is the most talented aka most technically sound goalie we’ve ever had. I mean, let’s face it. Hank’s textbook positioning and style makes Richter’s gyrations look like Dominic Hasek out there in comparison. Plus fans of OTHER teams have even called Hank the best they’ve ever seen. Period. Even so, normally, I would agree with the logic above and say the Cup is the deciding factor that gives Mike the edge as well.

    But Hank is the greatest all-time Ranger goalie for a far more compelling reason. Just look at how successful he has been (career wins, career SHO’s, a Vezina that Mike never garnered, etc.) alas all without having the benefit of having no less than 2 HHOFers on the ice for most of his career in Mess and Leetchie. Nor an Adam Graves. Nor…well u get the idea. I mean, if u consider what incredible numbers Hank has put up both individually and team-wise without anywhere close the supporting cast Mike had – and in fact, some of the worst Ranger rosters in recent memory – I think it is THAT much more incredible he is “net and net” in the same arena as Mike career stat-wise. From this alone, The King gets the crown. No question. :)