Found October 20, 2013 on
After another shaky performance in goal last night, Henrik Lundqvist was pegged, as he often is, as that player that has to be better for the Rangers. It’s not unfamiliar rhetoric surrounding The King, who, by virtue of being the team’s best player, is the one who people point to when things aren’t going well. When a team depends on a guy the way the Rangers depend on Lundqvist – placing their fate in his hands almost every night – his struggles become magnified.
Such frustration is a common theme for Lundqvist in October.
In fairness, Lundqvist certainly deserves some of the blame for the Rangers’ slow start to the season. He has just two wins through six starts, while sporting a save percentage south of .900 and a goals against average north of 3.00 – shameful territory for any goaltender. Last night might have been rock bottom, as Lundqvist allowed four goals on 19 shots against a Devils team that has very little interest in scoring.
But the Rangers needn’t worry. For before everyone starts theorizing “what is wrong” with Henrik Lundqvist, they need to remember that early-season rust is the norm for The King.
Since his first full season in 2006/07, he has never played well in the first month of the schedule. Each year has given way to customary October panicking, and each year has resulted in a sterling season. Over the course of his career, Lundqvist’s record in the first month of the season is 35-40. Overall? 278-175. So if anything, with a 2-4 record Lundqvist is right on pace.
The numbers go deeper than that. In 2011/12, Lundqvist’s Vezina-winning season, he stumbled out of the gates with a 2-6 record in October. He had 39 wins by season’s end, the most of his nine-year career. In the five seasons he has earned a Vezina nomination, Lundqvist has posted a winning record in the first month just once.
This isn’t to say that Ranger fans should root for Lundqvist to lose the rest of his starts this October. It’s not as though he has to be porous this month to be impermeable the following six. But there’s certainly a pattern here, if not a correlation.
Quite simply, Lundqvist needs time to find his groove. And when he finds it, he doesn’t lose it. If his goals against average is 3.45 right now, expect it to be closer to 2.8 in December. By March, don’t be surprised if it’s down right around 2.00. By then, the notion that Lundqvist could be capable of struggling will seem laughable.
That’s the effect of playing so well, so consistently, for eight seasons. People simply come to expect it. When your game falters, as anyone’s will, the panic buttons are pressed and the emergency alarms are rung. How is this happening?? Something must be wrong.
But with Lundqvist, such apprehension is unwarranted. Perhaps, if he was off to a 6-0 start and kicking out pucks in bunches, it would be time to worry. That would be ominously out of character. But at 2-4 and struggling in October, Lundqvist is primed for another monster year on Broadway.
BEST OF MAXIM
When the new line combinations were made public knowledge during yesterday’s practice, a lot of questions and a lot of heat were directed at the coach. The top line of Derek Stepan as the pivot between Brad Richards and Chris Kreider made sense. All three defense pairings made sense. But the second, third, and fourth forward lines looked like something out...
Defenseman Roman Hamrlik has retired after a 20-year NHL career.
The three-time All-Star was drafted first overall by Tampa Bay in 1992. He played 1,395 games in the regular season and 113 in the playoffs with the Lightning, Oilers, Islanders, Flames, Canadiens, Capitals and Rangers.
From Zlin, Czech Republic, Hamrlik had 155 goals and 483 assists for 638 points while averaging...
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
I’m not as high-tech as Dave is, so you don’t get pictures tonight. Not that you wanted them…
Well, that was fun. The Rangers dropped a laugher tonight to the Devils in Newark by a score of 4-0. Let’s break down the ineptitude…
Devils 1, Rangers 0
This play started in the offensive zone, where Derick Brassard made an ill-advised pass through...
Martin Biron officially announced his retirement today and will moving on to the next chapter is his life.
According to New York Rangers Martin Biron has officially announced his retirement from the National Hockey League after 16 seasons. Biron has been spending the last several days back at home in Buffalo where he was deciding his next move with his family. His two options were...
The New York Rangers are 2-5, defensively porous and offensively inept. They are discombobulated on the ice and lost for answers. And perhaps worst of all, after cementing their reputation as an iron-willed team over the past three seasons, they are a spineless bunch.
Rick Nash is just one of three key forwards missing from the Rangers’ lineup.
But these are not the New York Rangers...
Connor Allen, the last defenseman cut from the roster during preseason, notched his first professional goal last night in Hartford’s 3-2 win over Portland. Danny Kristo also scored in the contest, with his goal holding up as the game winner. The scoring lines from all prospects from the AHL, CHL, NCAA, and international play are below.
Calle Andersson (Malmo, HockeyAllsvenskan...
October 19th, 1993, Madison Square Garden, NY: After having their three game win streak snapped by the Flyers three nights earlier, the Rangers looked to get back on track at home against an expansion team, usually a recipe for a win. Inspired by the 1992 Disney movie, “The Mighty Ducks” staring Emilio Estevez, the NHL awarded a […]
Every team has to deal with injuries over the course of the season, it’s a part of the game. The Rangers are one of those teams dealing with such injuries right now, and it’s testing their depth early in the year. Not only is New York dealing with injuries, they are dealing with injuries to significant players. They are missing three of their top six forwards...
Today, Martin Biron of the New York Rangers announced his retirement from the National Hockey League after sixteen seasons of action. Biron played 508 games in the league as a member of four Eastern Conference clubs (Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, New…Read more →The post Rangers’ goaltender Martin Biron retires from the NHL after 16 seasons of service appeared first...
After thinking about it it with my family, I've decided to retire as a player and move on to a new chapter. Thank you all for your support.
— Martin Biron (@martybiron43) October 20, 2013
Word is Biron will take a broadcasting job soon.
The jaw wasn’t jutting out. The lips weren’t forming a pout. And there was nothing to suggest he was about to shout.
John Tortorella stood there and methodically reviewed a game in which the Vancouver Canucks coach didn’t get the pace push presence and consistency he demands on a nightly basis. The tactician and teacher didn’t turn into a tormentor after a 3-1 loss to the...
Coming into this matchup, both the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils were struggling offensively. The Devils had yet to win a game in regulation this season. The Rangers are trying to fight through tough losses and an inconsistent start to their season. Both teams are coming into this game trying to prove something. […]
After sixteen seasons as an NHL goaltender, Martin Biron has announced his retirement. Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round (16th overall) of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, Biron played with the Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers. During his career, he appeared in 508 career regular season contests posting a record of 230...
“We can’t say 100 percent sure he’s going to be good to go on Thursday, but I can’t say 100 percent he’s not going to be. He’s getting better. He’s got something he’s been dealing with for a little bit of time, and since we had four days between games, we figured it was the right time to try to nip this in the bud.”
-New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault...