I do not know what to think anymore.
First I thought it was his lingering contract, but then he received a long term extension. Then I thought he was playing hurt, but why would you risk a serious injury from your new high-priced, long-term investment? I do not know what it is, but Henrik Lundqvist‘s poor season this year is definitely hurting the New York Rangers and could most definitely prevent them from making the playoffs this year.
The excuse for Lundqvist’s poor play that has been tossed around all season, and one that I somewhat agree with, is the new size reduction of his goalie pads, due to a new rule in the NHL. Lundqvist is definitely giving up more low goals than usual, so I definitely agree with the smaller pad excuse there, but how does the size of his new pads legitimize his glove and cutting down on angles?
Lundqvist has never been the greatest on his glove side due to his butterfly style goaltending, which leaves a goaltender vulnerable to top shelf shots, but this year, it has just been ridiculous. I have never seen Lundqvist miss so many once routine glove saves in my life.
Also, how does his new pad size effect his ability to be on top of the crease and cut down on angles, like he failed to do on the Columbus Blue Jackets‘ third goal last night? Alot of fans will blame the defense for that goal because it was a 3-on-2, but defensive breakdowns are just a part of the game and how most goals are scored. The goaltenders job is to make the big saves when the opponents’ offense is able to penetrate the first line of defense.
I mean, I know Lundqvist is the biggest fan favorite, but he is receiving so many excuses from fans that you would think goalies are not supposed to make any saves throughout the course of the game, and it is all the defense’s fault
Whatever is plaguing Lundqvist, I am sure it is a combination of many things, but I believe the majority of it is mental. Lundqvist has far too many outside distractions from photo shoots, to a new family, to much more. Other than his family, he needs to block all of the rest out and just focus on hockey, because his poor play this season is affecting the Rangers big time. If he doesn’t wake up and turn his season around, the Rangers’ season will never turn around and the team will be watching the playoffs on television rather than playing in it.
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