Henrik Lundqvist is unhappy he’s not starting tonight versus Winnipeg; however, he stands behind coach Alain Vigneault’s decision to give Cam Talbot a second straight nod in goal for the Rangers.
Meanwhile, as if it needed to be said, Vigneault confirmed that Lundqvist is “definitely” still the Rangers’ No. 1 goalie and that starting Talbot again is simply a matter of riding the hot hand.
Of course, all of the above is occurring as Lundqvist remains without a contract extension past the end of the current season. Not surprisingly, Lundqvist didn’t want to talk about that angle, and neither did Vigneault.
Anyway, as we wrote earlier today, without being privy to contract talks between the club and Lundqvist, it would be a stretch to suggest there’s a controversy here, or even that one is on the horizon. For Talbot, tonight will be just his eighth career NHL start. We’re quite certain the Rangers aren’t ready to hand an inexperienced, undrafted 26-year-old out of the University of Alamaba in Huntsville the keys to the franchise after facing 198 shots in the big leagues, even if he did stop 187 of them.
The Rangers’ next game is Thursday in Buffalo.
Lundqvist: "I’m not satisfied with being OK…I want to be great and if I’m not, I’m not satisfied."
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.