by Patrick Hoffman on 11/04/08 at 12:10 AM ET
The NHL announced today that New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was the second star for the month of October joining third star Shea Webber of the Nashville Predators and first star Alexander Semin of the Washington Capitals.
To say that Lundqvist deserved this would be the understatement of the 2008-09 NHL campaign.
Lundqvist led his team to an 8-2-1 record while posting a 1.99 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. He’s allowed two or fewer goals nine times, helping to keep his team in every game he has started and giving them a chance to come back if they were losing.
A prime example of this would be what took place in a game back on October 27th versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins were up 2-0 in the third period but Lundqvist made a handful of dazzling saves to keep them at bay and allow his team to come back and not only tie it up in regulation, but win it in a shootout in his he went three for three.
For Lundqvist, it appears as if he picked up right where he left off in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. He’s making the saves he needs to, he’s covering up for his team’s defensive lapses (when they have them) and more importantly, he’s winning games.
In just three seasons in the National Hockey League, Lundqvist has 112 wins and is quickly on his way to winning 30 games this season, which would make it four seasons in a row for the 26-year-old Swedish netminder.
And who knows? May be after being a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in his first three seasons, he’ll finally win it this season.
Yes, there is still a lot of hockey left to be played and the “King” will probably slumo at some point but right now, he’s been everything that the team has needed him to be and I don’t doubt for a second that he could be this way, or pretty darn close to it, throughout the rest of the season.
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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.