Henrik Lundqvist made another argument for his first Vezina trophy victory on Tuesday as the New York Rangers survived against the potent Philadelphia Flyers offense to win the Atlantic Division and East’s first seed.
Believe it or not, things can’t always be golden for the Swedish stud, though. Katie Strang provides an update that might make Rangers fans queasy; Lundqvist appeared to hurt his arm a bit after making a big save tonight. He spoke about how he’s feeling while wrapping the injured limb in ice in the Rangers dressing room:
“It’s stiff. I can’t really grip on the outside,” Lundqvist said. “It’s tough to have balance on the stick. We’ll see how it feels in a couple of days. It’s probably going to be pretty stiff tomorrow.”
Well, yikes. It doesn’t sound like an enormously problematic injury, but hearing that is never a great thing. The good news is that the playoffs begin in eight days, however, so that should be ample time for the world-class netminder to get healthy.
One of the (ridiculous) criticisms of Lundqvist – the guy who won a gold medal for Sweden – is that he hasn’t had much postseason success, but now the Rangers finally have a team in front of him to give him a real chance. Not being 100 percent could put a serious dent in that opportunity, though.
(Of course, most players are unhealthy to some degree in the postseason, so maybe it will just come with the territory.)
There is still plenty of time left but Saturday night hasn’t gotten off to a great start for the Buffalo Sabres. As John Vogl points out, they went down 1-0 to the lowly Maple Leafs in Toronto during the first period – on a shorthanded goal, no less – and might be without their richly paid sniper. Vogl and others point out that Thomas Vanek “went to the dressing room,” which is code for “could be injured.”
Update: the good news is that Vanek’s been back in action. The bad news is that, relatively speaking, he looks a little sluggish/out of it.
To make matters just a little bit worse, the Washington Capitals lead the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in front of a Verizon Center crowd that has been boisterous regarding the return of Nicklas Backstrom. (Oh yeah, the Ottawa Senators also beat the Philadelphia Flyers in a shootout today, to rub a little more salt in the wound.)
Naturally, if the stretch run is teaching us anything, it’s that early results don’t mean everything. Vanek could be OK and a one-goal deficit (or lead) is far from a sure thing.
Still, this isn’t exactly the way Buffalo wanted things to begin.
The Sabres’ loss to Pittsburgh last night turned out to bad news for a different reason.
Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News reports Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said Myers is out of tonight’s game thanks to a foot injury suffered last night. In Myers’ stead, T.J. Brennan and Brayden McNabb were each called up to try and fill out his position. Ruff says that Myers is day-to-day with the injury.
Myers has had his share of health issues this season but he’s started to get his game back in shape recently. Brennan and McNabb both in the house for tonight’s game, thanks to fellow defenseman Mike Weber being listed as questionable. Nothing ever comes easy for the Sabres on defense.