Sunday, April 12, 2015

N.Y. Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist, Seizing a Legacy


Tex's Rangers Set All-Time Franchise Record
with 53 Victories and 113 Points
(53-22-7; 113 Points)
President's Trophy Winners
Metropolitan Division Champions

With Saturday's victory over the Capitals in the regular season finale, the Rangers punctuated the finest regular season in franchise history.  Their 53rd victory and 113th point surpassed the club mark set by the 1993-1994 Stanley Cup winners.  They captured their third ever President's Trophy.

Blueshirts Enter Playoffs With Best Goalie Tandem In NHL.  But, Only One Can Play.

It was perhaps fitting that Can Talbot was able to win the President's Trophy clincher after his exceptional work in net during Henrik's absence.  Talbot started 23 of 25 games missed by Lundqvist, and posted a stellar 16-4-3 record, with 3 shutouts.

The Rangers finished with 53 victories this season and Talbot owned 21 of them, with perhaps last Tuesday's win being his biggest.   For the season, Talbot was 21-9-4 with a .926 SV% and a 2.21 GAA, which qualified for the league's 4th best mark.

It's somewhat of a shame he won't continue playing into the second season.  But, this is after all Henrik Lundqvist's team.

Despite injury, Henrik won 30 games for the 9th time in his career while only making 45 starts, and lost the fewest games since his rookie season.  He posted a 30-13-3 record this season with a .923 SV% and 2.26 GAA.  Lundqvist made 7 starts upon his return from injury, and posted a 5-2 record.

Henrik and Talbot both registered 5 shutouts each.

Lundqvist, 33, has taken the Rangers to a pair of Eastern Conference finals, and one Stanley Cup series.   In 92 post-season starts, however, the King owns a sub-.500 43-48 record, but with a consistent 2.24 SV% and a .922 GAA.

Many are curious as to whether Cam Talbot can fair better, but are unlikely to find out.  Henrik Lundqvist did tweak his knee against the Capitals during Saturday's season finale, but remained in the game and finished seemingly unhindered.

As we head into the playoffs, the naysayers will be out in full force pointing out Henrik's post-season record, and voicing their desire to see Talbot between the pipes.  Of course, the other side of the puck is that he is healthy, rested, and has sufficiently shaken off the rust after missing 25 games.

Henrik Lundqvist must now get the Rangers back into the Finals, and by finally winning a Stanley Cup, seize his legacy.


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