For years, the New York Rangers basically asked Henrik Lundqvist to overcome huge talent deficits close to 70 games per year. They’re a better overall team this season, but there are still times when it seems like the stupendous Swede needs to stand on his head for them to win.
Depending upon whom you ask, the Rangers either a) laid an egg overall or b) played like usual, only Lundqvist didn’t drag them to victory in a tough 4-1 loss in Game 4. Either way, the Rangers offense wasn’t effective, but Lundqvist told Dan Rosen that his overriding focus is on his own performance.
“Honestly, it’s not a concern for me at all how many goals we score,” Lundqvist said. “My approach to the game and my mindset doesn’t change no matter how many goals we score. A lot of times two or three goals have been enough. I try to approach it the same way — focus on my things, the things I can control.
“We will have nights where we score more goals and some nights we’re going to win 1-0 or 2-1. I’m fine with that.”
Many analysts love to talk about goalies who “make the big save in key situations,” but I’d imagine most netminders would agree that they never want to allow a goal. Sure, it’s easier to stomach a puck getting behind you when you’re up by three goals, yet Lundqvist probably has the right mindset. Control what you can and more often than not, you’ll be in a good position to win.
One can imagine that he wouldn’t mind a little “run support” anyway, though.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.
As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.
The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.
In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.
Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.
He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.