The King has been–momentarily at least–dethroned.
Martin Biron is proving to be more than an excellent plan B for the Rangers in net. He stifled the Calgary Flames tonight making 31 saves in the Rangers 2-1 victory. Biron kept his cool and knocked down all 15 shots thrown at him in the nail biter third period.
Two straight starts, two straight solid wins. He backstopped the Blueshirts in their 5-2 win over the Wild on Saturday.
But coach John Tortorella felt compelled to explain himself prior to giving Biron the start again tonight.
” Hank is our No. 1 guy and he’s going to play the bulk of these games. It’s not a two-goalie system. Marty deserves to play, and will tonight, but Hank will play in Tampa (on Wednesday). He is our No. 1 goalie.”
On old All-Star ballot paper perhaps, but not in spirit thus far. Lundqvist hasn’t played like the unshakable number one goalie Ranger fans love to chant for from the rafters. He’s been inconsistent and shaky with a 7-7-1 record. The soft goals are piling up. Against the Bruins, Tyler Seguin and Mark Recchi undressed him while the Colorado Avalanche got him pulled after a 3-0 start.
Biron’s allowed two goals or fewer in seven of his eight starts.
There’s two possibilities for Torts. Give Hank a serious stretch of starts to find his groove instead of calculated “rest” time. Or go Claude Julien style and ride the hot hand.
I vote the latter option. If Biron has his game-face on right now, let him play. Lundqvist needs to find his inner Vezina just like Tim Thomas. Maybe a dose of competition is just what the doctor ordered.
About the Author
Written by Margaret DeJesus
I'm a recent college graduate looking for a dream job covering hockey. I've been watching the New York Rangers since my grade school days of VHS and Gordon Bombay's "ducks fly together" speech. While studying journalism at Boston University (COM '10), I wrote for the Daily Free Press, the student newspaper. I worked two summers at the Staten Island Advance, my hometown newspaper, writing city news and features. I've also written CD reviews for Music-Reviewer.com. One of my favorite gigs was interning for hockey analyst extraordinaire Stan Fischler covering the Boston Bruins and attending all their home games in the 2009-2010 season. (Yes, including the crushing defeat against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.)