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03-26-2012, 06:13 PM
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I think the craziest part about Henrik's Lundqvist statistics are his stats in the early years of his career when looked at side-by-side with his teammates.

I mean, when your best defenseman for the first few years of your career is Darius Kasparaitis, and you take a Rangers team that was predicted by pretty much everyone pre-05-06 to finish dead last in the East and get them into the playoffs singlehandedly, and then win at least 30 games every concurring season on a team who's had a terrible blue line pretty much every single season save this one (and even then, before this season, looking at this Rangers blueline on paper, who could've predicted that defense would have been this team's strong suit?), you've got to be more than just a 'pretty good' goaltender.

He's the only goalie in NHL history to record 30 wins in each of his first seven seasons in the NHL, and he's showing no signs of ever stopping to record less than 30 wins in any of his future NHL seasons. Yes, he hasn't won a cup, and yes, he hasn't won a vezina, but those things (especially the Vezina) will be easy to come by for a man of his talents..especially now that he actually has a good team playing for him.

Henrik Lundqvist has never had problems in the playoffs. Having been a Rangers fan all of my life and watching the team on a regular basis, I can assure you that this is not the case. A more accurate assessment is that Henrik Lundqvist carries the team on his back into the playoffs by himself, and then isn't able to continue carrying his terrible, consistently-underperforming teammates on his back anymore once the playoffs start. Seriously, did anyone even WATCH the Rangers-Caps series last year? We looked like Columbus out there. And when I say Columbus I mean to imply that sled hockey players would have been more effective than Washington against us. The one game we won of that series was because the team actually livened up a bit and hustled and put effort into playing hockey.

To say that Marc-Andre Fleury deserves to get into the hall of fame is quite possibly the silliest thing anyone could say. Don't get me wrong--he's a very good goalie. He's also quite possibly the most overrated goalie in the NHL--right up there with Tim Thomas. Anyone who plays goalie (and actually knows what they're doing) and watches both of these goalies a lot can tell you right away that Marc Andre Fleury's positioning is TERRIBLE--he over-commits on over half of the shots he faces and relies on good coaching and a really deep, effective team to bail him out. You put him on the Rangers he'd make Mike Dunham look like an All-Star. Tim Thomas is amazingly athletic and has fantastic reflexes, but once again, his positioning is terrible. The reason he was never successful as a goalie until the age of 72 is because he is terrible at positioning and began rigorous amounts of yoga (I kid you not) to greatly improve his reflexes--and it actually worked. However, yet again, Thomas is bailed out by impeccable defense. I mean, honestly, it's not hard to get the numbers he's had in his short NHL career with Zdeno Chara playing in front of you for half of every game. And the Bruins' blueline outside of Chara is actually still pretty good. They also have a ton of great forwards who are stellar at both ends of the ice.

You want to see what I'm talking about? The Bruins have been lackluster this second half of the season and have also been plagued by injuries. And look at Thomas' numbers.

In closure, Lundqvist's worst season had him posting a 2.43 GAA. MAF has never had a season with a GAA below 2.30 (aside from this one, and even then, he could totally blow it in the final few games). MAF also has several seasons with absolutely terrible numbers (although he was on terrible teams so it's forgiveable). Thomas has only played like, what, 5 years? 6 years?

Getting into the Hall of Fame isn't about burst excellence. It's about sustained excellence. MAF hasn't provided that. Thomas most certainly hasn't provided that. Lundqvist totally has--I do agree that he needs at least one vezina or cup win to solidify his spot in the HOF--but if there's any goalie in the current NHL that deserves to go into the hall of fame, it's him.

And don't talk to me about Kipper. He's a great goalie, and I absolutely love him. I wish he had won the cup in 04, because then he'd definitely get consideration for the hall of fame. But again--sustained excellence. He really pretty much slowed down very quickly post-lockout and has pretty much been hot-and-cold ever since. Luongo's playoff stats get worse and worse every year. That shot between the legs in his first playoff stint with Vancouver may end up plaguing him for the rest of his career. I was watching TSN once and they showed Luongo's GAA for every year of the playoffs he had been with Vancouver--and it just keeps getting progressively worse and worse.

And, bear in mind, this is on the same team that has pretty much won their division almost every year since he joined the team and constantly has an INCREDIBLE roster playing in front of him. Again, Luongo is a fantastic goalie. But if you want an example of a guy who crashes in the postseason, Lundqvist isn't that guy; it's Luongo.

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