by Patrick Hoffman on 04/14/09 at 10:35 AM ET
When the puck drops tomorrow night at the Verizon Center, all eyes will turn to New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist as the Blueshirts take on the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
If the Blueshirts are going to advance to the next round, the “King” will need to be at his best when he faces the likes of offensive machines Alex Ovechkin (56 goals, 54 assists, 110 points), Nicklas Backstrom (22 goals, 66 assists, 88 points), Alexander Semin (34 goals, 45 assists, 79 points) and stud defenseman Mike Green (31 goals, 42 assists, 73 points).
Lundqvist will face pucks from all angles and will have to steal at least one of the first two games of the series if the team wants to give themselves any kind of shot when the series shifts back to Madison Square Garden.
At yesterday’s practice, Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella spoke about how Lundqvist is one of the best goaltenders in the league and how he is such a competitor. He spoke about how his competitive demeanor makes him who he is and that he has an opportunity to really help his team. Against a team that averages close to 34 shots a game, Lundqvist is certainly going to need to be at his very best.
In the playoffs, Lundqvist is 11-12 with a 2.57 goals against average, .907 save percentage and one shutout while helping his club knock off the Atlanta Thrashers in four games in 2007 and the New Jersey Devils five games in 2008.
Lundqvist has been there for his hockey club time and time again. This series will be no different for the “King.”
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, atlanta+thrashers, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, mike+green, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.