Found May 11, 2012 on Blue Seat Blogs:

Sticking with our Henrik Lundqvist theme for today, there was a great discussion on Twitter between Japers Rink and Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post regarding the myth of the playoff goat or playoff underachiever. Fairly or not, Lundqvist (and Alex Ovechkin) have been labeled as playoff losers because both are elite players who have never advanced past the second round. In Lundqvist’s case, this is especially unfair as this is really just the second season he’s really had a team capable of making it past the second round.

Save for the 2006-2007 Rangers that were very capable of making a run (stupid Chris Drury!), Lundqvist has always been the reason why the Rangers made the playoffs. He made a mediocre team a playoff team, and in 2009 carried them to within one win of a major upset of these Washington Capitals. But, the team around him wasn’t a playoff caliber team, and they lost.

Now, this is a Ranger team that is a playoff caliber team. Add Lundqvist to the mix, and he makes them into a team that can make a legitimate run. They are eerily similar to last year’s Boston Bruins, and constructed in the same way as well. But yet in an attempt to sell papers and page views, many ignore the strength (or lack thereof) of these teams, and focus solely on the fact that Lundqvist hasn’t made it past the second round. Color me confused.

The main discussion now is that if the Rangers lose, Lundqvist may be given a permanent “playoff loser” image until he finally wins a Cup. It’s not exactly fair, but that’s how the media runs the show nowadays. Very little thought process, just headlines and irrational scapegoating.

But it does beg the question: Is there pressure on Hank to win? The answer is simple. There is always pressure on Lundqvist to win. He’s the rock in net, he’s the best goalie in the world. Very few of the Capital’s chances have beat him cleanly, and he’s only flubbed one real chance (Game Four – Alex Ovechkin).

It’s unfortunate that people will continue to scapegoat the goaltender if the Rangers lose, especially if he gets beat glove side again. But the fact of the matter here is that the Rangers wouldn’t be here without Lundqvist. This is the first time in five years that he’s had a legitimate contender to work with. The rational fan disregards what he has done without much support because he didn’t have much support.

Now that this team is nearing completion, Lundqvist can be better judged for his playoff performance. Just look at his numbers, this year is different. He’s not a goat, nor should he ever be. But, that said, there is significant pressure on him to not just produce solid numbers. He needs to win.


Putting a narrative about Lundqvist’s glove to rest

Every internet sports writer (national media or bloggers) at some point or another will try to spice up a headline or article subject to entice readership.  It’s the nature of the beast.  One of the most effective tools utilized is the well-crafted narrative.  Causing derision between multiple groups of people over any minute detail of the team, focusing on a slow boiling ...

Capitals Targeting Glove Side High on Lundqvist

While last night was far from being Henrik Lundqvist's fault, an interesting trend is appearing as the Capitals seem to be targeting glove side high with their shots on the Rangers All Star goaltender.This was actually noted earlier in the week by Chuck Gormely of CSN Washington as he printed this quote from Capitals associate goalie coach Olie Kolzig..."You look at him...

Happy Mother's Day (5/13/12) Headlines

Bergen Record - Rangers beat Caps, 2-1, advance to play Devils in conference finals Bergen Record - Sullivan: Henrik Lundqvist proved to be the difference in Game 7 Bergen Record - Rangers notes: Looking ahead New York Post - Rangers eliminate Caps in Game 7, move on to DevilsNew York Post - Rangers’ defense stymies CapitalsNew York Post - ‘Blue’ collar Del Zotto gets it done...

Lundqvist Advances to Elite Eight of NHL13 Cover Contest

Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy reports that Henrik Lundqvist has been voted into the third round of the EA Sports NHL13 cover contest.Lundqvist has been placed in Bracket B and voting for this bracket will run from May 18 through May 23.To vote for Lundqvist click here.Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at ...

The Battle Of The Goaltenders

from Johnette Howard of ESPN New York, If this NHL season is going to end the way 1994’s did, with a New York championship, it’s absolutely perfect—even mandatory—that Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers would now find the New Jersey Devils sitting there, waiting for them in the Eastern Conference finals. Because in so many ways, Lundqvist has become who Devils goaltender Martin...

Effort Not There For Rangers

Pat Leonard at the Daily News has this from Henrik Lundqvist on the Rangers lack of effort last night..."It felt like we were pretty far from where we have to be to win a game like this. It felt like we were not really close until the last 20 seconds."From Dan Girardi (via ESPN NY)..."They just came out really hard and I thought the effort was there for the most part...

Rangers down Capitals in Game 7

Brad Richards and Michael Del Zotto scored, Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves, and the New York Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals with a 2-1 victory in Game 7 over the Washington Capitals. Richards scored less than two minutes in, and Del Zotto doubled the lead in the third period to help the top-seeded Rangers improve to 5-0 in Game 7s at Madison Square Garden. That...

Keys to Rangers/Capitals Game 7

To watch at, click here.You can also watch MSG Networks Game 7 preview by clicking here.Meanwhile, Dave Lozo at gives five reasons for the Rangers to have faith going into Game 7 including Henrik Lundqvist, Brad Richards and havgin home ice. (H/T to reader Kevin M.)Finally, Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy takes a look at why Rangers vs. Capitals is a bigger...

Postgame: Appalling Performance by Rangers Pushes Series to a Game 7

It is not what the Washington Capitals did tonight in Game 6 at the Verizon Center that led to a 2-1 final score in favor of the home team, but rather what the New York Rangers failed to do. In what was undoubtedly the team's worst performance of the series, the Blueshirts showed up for just one of three periods and blew opportunity after opportunity to get themselves back into...

Rangers are becoming Game 7 specialists

Bring on the New Jersey Devils. Finally. The New York Rangers endured their second consecutive tooth-and-nail series, needing seven games again to vanquish the Washington Capitals with a typically tight 2-1 victory Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The Eastern Conference champs in the regular season also needed the full allotment of games to dismiss No. 8 seed Ottawa in...

The Capitals Have Established Their New Identity

from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, The Washington Capitals didn’t just lose a second-round playoff series in seven tight, tough games with the top-seeded New York Rangers here in thunderous Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. This was a defeat with a victory of a different but enormously important kind, hidden inside it. The Caps reasserted, even in their 2-1 loss...

Goal breakdown ECSF Game 7

Well, that was awesome, huh?  The Rangers are going to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1997 with a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Conference Semi-Finals.  Brad Richards and Henrik Lundqvist were the story in this one, as well as tremendous team defense from the Blueshirts.  Let’s break down the goals… 1-0 Rangers Michael Del Zotto started...

ECSF Game Six: Rangers at Capitals

Series: Rangers lead 3-2 NYR Leading Scorer: Brad Richards (5-5-10) WSH Leading Scorer: Alex Ovechkin (4-4-8) NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (12 GS, 1.70 GAA, .940 SV%) WSH Goaltender: Braden Holtby (12 GS, 2.02 GAA, .930 SV%) Rangers Lines: Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik Artem Anisimov-Brian Boyle-Ryan Callahan Ruslan Fedotenko-Derek Stepan-Brandon Prust Mike Rupp-John...

Series preview: Rangers vs. Devils

1) Rangers vs. 6) DevilsHow they got here…(1) Rangers-ECQ: Beat (8) Senators in 7ECS: Beat (7) Capitals in 7(6) Devils-ECQ: Beat (3) Panthers in 7ECS: Beat (5) Flyers in 5Season Series…Tied 3-3Previous Playoff Meetings…2008 ECQ: (5) Rangers over (4) Devils in 52006 ECQ: (3) Devils over (6) Rangers in 41997 ECS: (5) Rangers over (1) Devils in 51994 ECF: (1) Rangers over (3)...

Rapid Rewind: Closing Time

  The Washington Capitals’ 2011-12 season came crashing down on Saturday night as they fell to the New York Rangers inside Madison Square Garden in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinal.  The Caps surrendered the lead only 92 seconds in to the game on a goal from Brad Richards and never recovered.  The Rangers’ stifling defense, led by Vezina and Hart Trophy nominee...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.