After years of hoisting up the New York Rangers with his own heroics, the Rangers have sometimes been doing the heavy lifting for Henrik Lundqvist this season. It only seems fair, right?
It’s easy to forget just how special he’s been during his NHL career until he hits a milestone, as he did on Saturday. With the Rangers’ 4-2 victory against the Colorado Avalanche, Lundqvist reached the 400-win mark.
“King Henrik” stopped 32 shots to get there.
To little surprise, Lundqvist is in rare company. He’s just the 12th goalie to win 400 games and is just the third to do so with the same team; Martin Brodeur won 688 with the New Jersey Devils and Phil Esposito managed 418 with the Chicago Blackhawks.
He also took the top spot in a relevant category:
Now, you can quibble with Lundqvist getting there faster thanks to shootout wins, but the overall point is that he’s enjoyed a special career … one that is in the ballpark of some of the true greats.
Of course, that Stanley Cup eludes a player who’s locked down great numbers and an Olympic gold medal. The good news there is that with the Rangers now on a five-game winning streak, Lundqvist & Co. are in the running for the second or third spot in the rabidly competitive Metropolitan Division.
Gaining a more desirable first-round matchup might just give Lundqvist a better chance to hit that silver milestone that matters the most.
With the Penguins losing to the Coyotes in overtime and the Blue Jackets taking care of business by edging the Red Wings, the races for the second and third spots in the Metro are really heating up.
Pittsburgh falling short meant a rare off couple of nights for Sidney Crosby.
Let’s ignore the Washington Capitals (who are way ahead in first place as they sail into a bye week) and teams more relevant to wild card races or lottery balls for the sake of brevity. Instead, let’s see where the Rangers, Penguins and Blue Jackets stand after Saturday’s games:
2. Blue Jackets – 75 points in 54 games, 35 wins, 33 ROW
3. Penguins – 75 points in 54 games, 34 wins, 32 ROW
Rangers – 73 points in 55 games, 36 wins, 34 ROW
The Rangers are at a disadvantage here, yet it’s interesting that they have more wins and regulation/overtime wins, eh?
Overall, it should be a fun stretch run for these Metro contenders.