Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens was a complete and utter disaster for Rangers starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers’ defense.
After surrendering four goals before the halfway point of the second period, Lundqvist was pulled for backup goaltender Cam Talbot, who did not fair much better. Although, the Rangers’ skaters definitely received a spark from the goalie switch.
After Lundqvist was pulled for Talbot, while the Rangers were down 4-1, the Rangers all of a sudden woke up and scored three quick unanswered goals to tie the game at four. Then, not even a minute later, Canadiens forward Rene Bourque scored his second goal of the game, putting the Canadiens up 5-4, on route to a hat trick and a 7-4 Canadiens Game 5 victory.
Now back to Lundqvist. He obviously did not have his best game in Game 5, as it was actually one of his worsts. So you would figure Lundqvist would just shake off his bad Game 5 and be back in top form for Game 6. However, if you look at Lundqvist’s past postseason performances, when he starts giving up bad goals like he did in Game 5, it mentally affects him and he always seems to carry over his bad play for the rest of the series.
In the first round of the playoffs against the Washington Capitals in 2009, where the Rangers ironically had a 3-1 series lead and then lost three straight games and the series, Lundqvist started giving up bad goals in Game 5. It greatly affected him the rest of the way on route to a 3-1 series collapse and a Rangers first round elimination.
This is why if you are a Rangers’ fan, like myself, you should be very worried about Lundqvist because if history is any indication, expect Lundqvist and the Rangers to unfortunately choke away three straight games to the Canadiens and get eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals.