What if Blackburn had not been hurt.
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01-28-2007, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
I think Blackburn would have been beaten out by Lundqvist by now. It was a terrible call to bring him up that early. The kid should have been playing in the WHL, dominating, and winning the Memorial cup. He SHOULD have had the chance to go to the WJC, where, depending on his performance, ironically, could have overshadowed Montoya, in which case the Rangers never pick him. That being said, they did call him up. Blackburn was a good goalie for a 18 year old kid in the NHL. I didn't think he was particularly strong technically. Maybe I was spoiled by watching Richter all those years, because Richter, until that time, had maybe the best post-to-post lateral movement I had ever seen. Blackburn was perhaps one of the worst in that regard. IIRC, it was a very awkward motion for him, where he would lunge from one side to the other, but his body would be falling forward at like a 45 degree angle. He never could stay squared up with the shooter while going side to side, and almost always wound up laying flat on his face in the crease. Which was dreadful considering the group we had and how well they cleared the net from rebound seekers
Anyway, with all that said, Lundqvist may be better than Richter side to side, I think he's probably the best I can think of. When guys at this level slump, all they have to fall back on is fundamentals, and I think Lundqvists' are extremely sound. So I think we'd have a backup in Blackburn, who would get the job done, but Lundqvist would have been starting by now. As for who we would have taken with the montoya pick, I prefer not to think about that.
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