Donovan Burns The Hockey Writers
Lundqvist Bouncing Back Quickly
Henrik Lundqvist’s last stretch of games exemplifies what it means to be an elite goaltender. After having a bad stretch of games, many were speculating that the Rangers goaltender was no longer serviceable. Contrary to that belief, he bounced back to the elite level as quickly as ever. Lundqvist has allowed just six goals and saved 94.9% of the shots on net over the four games since the Stars game just nine days ago. The New York Rangers could be very, very dangerous if he can keep playing at this incredibly high level.
Lundqvist’s Ability Returning
After some troublesome games, the King has shown the hockey world that he’s got a lot left in the tank. That’s become obvious with four very high-quality starts in a row. This all comes with defensive adjustments. The Rangers have played much better in front of the net and haven’t allowed many great scoring chances. They’ve tightened up significantly better in front of the net. As a result, he has played at an extremely high level.
The Rangers will need Lundqvist to be the elite goaltender of the past if they want to have a chance come playoff time. With the majority of their schedule being Eastern Conference teams, they can easily make up the few points they’re trailing in the Metropolitan division. If the Rangers plan to get back on top of the Eastern Conference, they’ll need a little luck and some great goaltending to guide them to the top.
King Henrik’s Confidence Returning
Confidence is of the utmost importance for any goaltender and it looks as if Lundqvist’s is returning back to form. As one of the best goalies in the league, it was a matter of time until Hank returned to his usual ways. With big victories against the Leafs, Red Wings, and Kings, there is no question that the goaltender in the Rangers crease wasn’t the reason they were winning. If this confident play style continues, the Rangers will be very dangerous regardless of their nightly matchup.
With backup goaltender Antti Raanta slowly healing from injury, Lundqvist has seized an opportunity. Having a goalie that’s playing at an extremely high level is important against division rivals. Instead of giving up every high-quality chance, he has kept the Rangers in every game with some great stops along the way. If they can keep scoring at a high rate and defend like they have, teams will be on high alert when they see the Rangers are in town.
Desperate Hunt For Consistency
As usual, the Rangers have been incredibly inconsistent lately after starting off the season exceptionally strong. While they’ve had no problem stringing a few wins together, the Rangers haven’t had a winning streak of over five games this season. With the rest of the Metro winning at an incredibly high rate, they have recently lagged behind. Finding consistency will be the key to the rest of the season. If they can shift into high gear and beat their division rivals, things can change rapidly.
With multiple games against the Capitals, Blue Jackets, Flyers, and Penguins left, anything can happen. With the team finally becoming healthy for the most part, consistency against Eastern teams may come easier. If the Rangers are finally hitting their best stretch of the season, this season could be one that goes down in the record books. As long as they stay healthy, this Blueshirts team could do big things.
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