On paper, New York Rangers star goalie Henrik Lundqvist should have a massive advantage over Ottawa Senators No. 1 guy Craig Anderson.
To casual fans, Anderson is known for a couple pictures of him (seemingly?) gawking at Ice Girls. Meanwhile, Ice Girls probably gawk at Lundqvist. (He’s a handsome fella.)
Lundqvist is richer, has a gold medal to his name and might just win his Vezina Trophy this season. Meanwhile, many would argue that much of the Senators’ success came despite Anderson, whose best span of the season was interrupted when he was injured while cutting chicken.
Yup, by all standards of logic, the Senators’ 3-2 series lead (thanks to a 2-0 Game 5 win) should only come via overwhelming Lundqvist & Co. with their offensive brilliance. Instead, Ottawa has tightened up considerably in their own end and Anderson has (gulp) been just a little bit to a lot better than Lundqvist – depending upon whom you ask.
It’s totally unfair to lay the blame on Lundqvist for the Rangers’ Game 5 loss, in particular. It’s literally impossible for a goalie to win a playoff game when the players in front of him fail to score a single goal.
Still, if you want to be literal about it, Anderson might be the best goalie of the series so far. Maybe it wouldn’t happen again if this series happened 10 times, but it’s tough not to shake this shocking possibility at this point.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: