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.