April 6, 2016
I wanted to write a hockey article on goaltending so when I was doing my research, I tried to get a consensus of who is the best goalie in the NHL. Time and time again the name that appears more often is Henrik Lundqvist. There will be statistics that will say that another goalie is better on paper but what I hear and have watched that Lundqvist is a game changer. A game changer is probably the most flattering thing one athlete can say about another. His presence in front of the net assures the New York Rangers that they will be competitive in every game
Lundqvist is considered a butterfly style goalie though unorthodox because of the aggressive way he performs the butterfly. The book on him is his fantastic instinct and quickness, athleticism and very strong positional play. What else can you say to complement a goalie? He also speaks five languages, not really…
Lundqvist of Swedish descent played in his country before joining the New York Rangers. He was the best goaltender in the country along with winning every award to be won in Sweden. Lundqvist has played for the New York Rangers since 2005. In his rookie season he got to start very quickly due to the injury of Kevin Weekes. He started every game after that and went on the have a fine season. We ranked fifth overall in goals against average and was a finalist as the year’s best goaltender. He probably would have won rookie of the year but there were a couple guys ahead of him named Crosby and Ovechkin.
He earned the nickname, “The King” earlier on in his career by his teammates and fans. He possessed spectacular athletic ability and a hardnosed work ethic that earned him a lot respect around the NHL. He followed up the 2005 campaign with another solid season, coming in second for the Vezina Trophy, the best goalie award.
Henrik established himself in the NHL from there on out. He began winning more awards, all-star selections and a hefty six-year contract which made him the highest paid goalie. The players and fans of New York have been spoiled to have such a rock solid and hardworking player in front of the net. His work ethic is second to nobody and pays off with great play and durability.
The Rangers are going to be a force in the playoffs this year and having a healthy Lundqvist working the net will assure some forward momentum. After all, The King is leading the league in saves, a state that becomes more important than any other. At 34 years old, Lundqvist has hit a few rough patches this season, like most goalies. Sometimes the defense in front of him can be blamed but Lundqvist is the type of player to take all of the burden. Rangers know that when the playoffs start, The King will be their guy and the grueling road to the Cup will be in his hands.