At the age of 32, it would be overly dramatic to suggest that Henrik Lundqvist is running out of opportunities to win the Stanley Cup. And yet, after winning the Vezina Trophy and establishing himself as the New York Rangers’ all-time leader in wins and shutouts, his lack of a championship is the only glaring omission left on his resume.
“I just think, for me personally, the biggest goal I have left with my hockey is to win the Stanley Cup,” Lundqvist told Newsday. “For me, it’s exciting to think about it. It’s a challenge for me and for all of us here. It’s why we play.”
He’s one of the best goaltenders of his generation and he’s had some talent in front of him, but the Rangers haven’t been able to put it all together and Lundqvist has never led them past the Eastern Conference Finals.
Lundqvist added that it “surprises” him to what extent getting or falling short of winning the Stanley Cup defines a player’s legacy. His argument is that no individual is completely responsible for the outcome of a season and thus it shouldn’t be used as a litmus test when judging a star’s worth.
At the same time, there’s no question as to what he wants. The Rangers might not be regarded as a favorite to capture the Cup this season, but it wouldn’t be a Cinderella story if they do win. The talent and opportunity is there for Lundqvist to finally be a champion.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16