The Truth

As far as I can tell, nobody is really focusing on him, but the hard truth is that the Rangers lost their series with the Devils because of Henrik Lundqvist.  He simply wasn’t himself in that series and the Rangers didn’t have the offensive capabilities to overcome that.

I write that fully aware that without Lundqvist, the Rangers would probably have been struggling to get into the playoffs.  And without Lundqvist, they never would have gotten past Ottawa or Washington.  Believe me, I love having the guy as the Rangers’ goalie and he is their MVP in my book.

But, look at the hard stats.  In the regular season, Lundqvist had a 93% save rate.  Big deal you say, the regular season isn’t the playoffs.  Well guess what?  In Round 1 that increased to 94.5%, he carried the Rangers into the second round. But in that round it dropped to 92.7% before dropping to 90.5% in the Conference Finals.  If he had made saves at the same rate in the Conference Finals that he had in the regular season, he would have prevented two more goals.  That might have come in handy….

Again, I don’t think the Rangers get anywhere near the Conference Finals without Henrik, but those stats make me wonder if he simply wore down?  You can’t blame him, his  postseason ice time was almost 33% of his regular season ice time and the postseason was conducted over only 5 weeks. Maybe 62 starts were too many in the regular season?  I don’t know the answer, but I hope the Rangers think long and hard about it when they do their offseason planning.

*****

While it is disappointing to miss out on a trip to the Stanley Cup and infuriating to lose to the Devils, it is worth remembering how successful the Rangers were this year. This was their first trip to the Conference Finals since 1997 and they almost won the Presidents Trophy.  They are young and they are in pretty good shape with the cap.  The future looks bright and we will discuss that in the near future.

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Comments

  • blmeanie  On May 27, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Goalie stats often are misleading. Take a long hard look at how the defense played and post back whether you think the quality of shots he faced against the Devils was better (defensive breakdowns?). Also – like a MLB hitter, as you progress through the playoffs, the competition improves and statlines can be misleading. If you face only the top 3 pitchers in a rotation in the playoffs are your hitting stats going to improve or stay constant? More likely they won’t. As you get through hockey playoffs it usually is defensive breakdowns that allow good/better scoring chances to occur, goalies get the stat, in this case 90.5% save completion but that may not be the fault of the goalie.

    • nysportsfanatic  On May 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      I don’t think the defense was as good as it had been, but Lundqvist also let in some really soft goals. In Game 5, he absolutely missed on one shot. I agree that it isn’t always the goalies’ fault, but in this case I really think it was.

  • blmeanie  On May 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

    totally unrelated but seeing as you are a Giants fan, why in the world is Jersey getting a super bowl? Why not have it in Chicago or Green Bay, I hear the weather is great there around the end of January?

    Also, there should be rules against having it in a city where a team might actually be in the game. Miami is a great place to have it for the next 10 years or so, so would Seattle, Atlanta, Houston, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and St. Louis.

    • nysportsfanatic  On May 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Three reasons. First, they play in the only NFL Stadium that two teams call home. Therefore, they had two different owners who could lobby for the game. Second, they have a brand new stadium to show off. Third, owner like Mr. Bob Kraft and other “cold weather” guys want the game in their places so they supported the Giants/Jets bid. And don’t think we won’t see a SB in Chicago or Green Bay if this works. (Maybe not Green Bay)

      Why does it bother you? I’ve never understood why the conference championships can be played in any weather under the sun, but the Super Bowl has to be played in “pristine” conditions. I always think of San Diego in the 1982 playoffs. They played an OT game in Miami in hot conditions and then travelled to Cincinnati where the wind chills were -59. How about Tom Brady in the tuck game? Weather is part of the game, they didn’t stop that Super Bowl a few years ago when it poured and Peyton Manning had to throw a wet ball. Personally, I hope it is cold and snowy when they play the game.

      I agree with the notion that a city shouldn’t be allowed to host if their team is in it, but I can’t see how that idea would be possible. Except for LA, almost every stadium where a Super Bowl could be held is located in a city that has a NFL team. Since you can’t be sure ahead of time which team will be good or bad, how could you implement that? I’m actually somewhat amazed that the only time I can think of where this conflict happened was when the 49ers played in Palo Alto, and technically that isn’t their home field.

  • blmeanie  On May 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I was just messing with you. I’m all for a cold weather game. Fans might not like it, I don’t think the players care that much.

    • nysportsfanatic  On May 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      Why don’t you think the fans will like it? Unless you have to go to the game there is nothing better than watching football in the snow.

  • blmeanie  On May 30, 2012 at 6:51 am

    fans in the stadium, sorry. The absolute worst sporting event I have ever gone to was a game at old Sullivan/Shaefer Stadium in December one year. It was bitter cold and flurries. Needless to say I didn’t make it to the end of that game, froze my butt off.

    On tv? Love cold/snow games.

    • nysportsfanatic  On May 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      BL

      By any chance did the Pats lose that game?

      I ask because I find that a loss+bad weather=bad experience while a win+bad weather=legendary experience.

      I saw the Giants clinch their first trip to the Super Bowl in January of 1987 and while I think I was frozen solid by the end of that game I didn’t care.

      On a similar note, it was not warm in the stands for Game 6 of the 2009 World Series, but I absolutely didn’t care.

  • blmeanie  On May 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I have no idea. I used adult beverages to try to keep warm. The benches were metal back then…

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