I don’t know about anyone else, but I am sick and tired of seeing Henrik Lundqvist not show up in big games. For years, everyone has defended him, saying that he has had no help from his teammates. Well this year is much different. The New York Rangers have some firepower and Lundqvist is running out of excuses. The franchise goaltender needs to play better for the Rangers to win this series.
Now before people jump down my throat, let me first say that I think Lundqvist is a fantastic goalie. Other than Mike Richter, Lundqvist is the best goalie in Rangers history. But the playoff failures have been building year after year after year. There is no more time for excuses; Lundqvist has to put up or shut up.
In both Games 1 and 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers, Lundqvist was relatively untested. He only faced 15 shots in Game 1 and 24 in Game 2 adding to a total of 39 save attempts through two games. Out of all goalies who have played in two or more games, that ranks 16th out of 17th in the NHL. His save percentage is 15th among 19 goalies who have seen time in the playoffs. That simply is not good enough.
There is no questioning that Lundqvist is an excellent goalie and one of, if not the best, goalie in franchise history. But the Rangers need more out of Lundqvist. They need the goalie who posted back to back shutouts in Games 6 and 7 of last year’s playoff series against the Washington Capitals. They need the goalie who has saved their backsides when the team went back into a shell in years past. They need the Lundqvist who doesn’t give up bad goals and keeps his team in it by making that one key save. That is what the Rangers need from Lundqvist and they need it now.