On Friday night, the New York Rangers‘ star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist reached another career milestone, recording his 301st career victory as the Rangers defeated the Winnipeg Jets, which ties him with Rangers legend Mike Richter for the franchise record for career wins as a Ranger.
When asked about how he felt about his accomplishment in a postgame interview, according to reports, Lundqvist responded that it was an, “…extremely proud feeling to be up there with him [Richter]… it’s a huge honor to be playing behind a bunch of great players and coaches that have supported me.”
Lundqvist also remarked, “301 feels really good right now but I hope I have a lot more to give here.” At only 32, it is quite apparent that Lundqvist indeed does have a lot more to give the Rangers, with at least 7-8 years of hockey left to play.
While Lundqvist may not have enough time left to contend for the NHL record for most career wins, which is currently held by New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur with 686, and counting as Brodeur is still an active NHL player.
Brodeur is undoubtedly one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, shattering Patrick Roy’s previous NHL career wins record of 551 multiple years ago, and then adding over 100 more wins on top of that. While Brodeur will most likely retire at the end of the season, leaving him just barely short of 700 career wins, it is unlikely that anyone will ever top Brodeur’s record for career wins.
At the same age as Lundqvist, Brodeur had 403 wins, over 100 more than Lundqvist has. While Lundqvist is unquestionably one of the greatest goaltenders in Rangers history, and maybe will one day be considered as one of the best of all time in the NHL as well, it is unlikely that Lundqvist will ever reach Brodeur’s mark.
Through eight and a half seasons Lundqvist has 301 wins, meaning that if he continues to produce at a consistent rate, he can theoretically reach a win total in the high 500s. This would mean that Lundqvist could contend to be the second on the list of all-time most winning NHL goalies.
Back to the record at hand. Lundqvist has moved into a tie with the great Mike Richter for most career wins in Rangers franchise history with 301.
While Lundqvist will undeniably pass Richter within the next few games, the question becomes whether or not he will be able to do so in front of the Garden Faithful at home. The Rangers have a game at home on Sunday against the San Jose Sharks and then go on a three-game road trip before returning to Madison Square Garden on March 24 for a two-game homestead.
While Lundqvist will certainly prefer to break the record at home in front of Rangers fans, and an unquestionably sold out game, it is more than likely that the record will be broken on the road.
Regardless, there will be a special energy and environment at the Garden on Sunday as Lundqvist goes for win No. 302. It will be a special game that hopefully Rangers fans, and Henrik Lundqvist, will remember forever.