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10-29-2004, 01:24 PM
Larry Melnyk
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Gloomsville, USA
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Originally Posted by 007
There are a couple of factors that contribute to why Lundqvist gets no respect coming out of Sweden:

1) Just look at the Rangers' own goalie prospects over the past few years: Holmqvist was great in Sweden (and is playing very well there now again), but came to America and never put it together (sure, the Rangers mishandled him, but he's hardly forced the issue with the Wild, either); Asplund was supposed to be better than Holmqvist at the same age level, but he never even made it over. Add to this the experiences of Tellqvist and going further back Söderström, and you get a lot of skepticism.

2) If Lundqvist makes the grade, he will do so as one of the few Swedes of his generation to make it to the NHL (just Liv and Tellqvist get seriously considered as prospects, it seems, and a lot of people aren't very high on either of them). Lehtonen gets all the respect, and he deserves it, because he's a special talent. It's easier for people to not doubt him, though, because Finland right now has flooded the prospect market with goalies. He's considered the best of a good group, which includes the likes of Toivonen, Noronen, Niittymäki, Toskala, and Ahonen, and who had the path beaten for them by guys like Kiprusoff, Nurminen, and Hurme. Now there's a lot of talk about Tuukka Rask: is he that good? I honestly have no idea, but the fact that he's the best goalie prospect in Finland these days makes people sit up and pay attention.

I love Lundqvist, and I think his abilities should carry him over to the NHL, where I hope they translate well. What I can say is that Lundqvist's strengths (reflexes, positioning), are the type that I hope will translate well to the NHL, where players will shoot from wherever, whenever, unlike in Europe. Lundqvist is not invincible, however. He's not that big, and reportedly, he's not known for a lighting glove hand, which is vital against NHL-quality shooters. Because he's from Sweden, outsiders will pay more attention to these potential weaknesses, whether they are real or not.

As a final note, I don't much care if Lundqvist doesn't get respect from the rest of the league or other fans. As long as he gets support from management and from us, I look forward the Rangers unleashing him on the NHL and him taking everyone by surprise with his talent.
1) I don't think any of these goalies have had the performance and success (both in the SEL and on the International stage) that Lundqvist has had by the age of 22...

2) I agree about the caution many have because of the past accomplishments and careers of Swedish goalies....But I think Lundqvist--the best gaolie in the SEL for the past two years-- is one of those special talents that you mention.....And I also agree with your point further down that he will be highly scrutinized...But this kid looks like he has poise and focus in spades...

3) I agree that Lundqvist is not invincible, not should he be at 22....I had not hear or seen that his glove hand was a concern, but I will keep that in mind and watch for it..

4) What is NHL-quality shooting? From what I can tell, the NHL quality and skill set (or the ability for it to be used in a game) has been going down year after year and is way over-rated..And right now with the lockout (which will continue for AT LEAST a year), isn't Lundqvist playing against the best collection of talent in the world? And doing the best he ever has?

5) from your lips to Gods ears about the Rangers one day unleashing his talent on the NHL....

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