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Henrik Lundqvist: The Swedish Frank White

Posted By Adam Gavriel On Mar 26 2011 @ 4:19 pm In New York Rangers | 1 Comment

What is there to say about this guy that hasn’t been said already? The Rangers had no clue what they were going to get when they took him with the 205th overall pick in the 2000 draft.

Today in Boston Henrik continued his godlike run in trying to put the Rangers on his back and get them to the playoffs. In his last three games he’s been given three total goals as offensive support, and what has he done? Only led the Rangers to a 2-0-1 streak in those games.

You want to talk about a guy whose an MVP, you talk Henrik Lundqvist for what he means to the Rangers, and if you want to talk about the best goalie in the league you talk about Henrik Lundqvist.

We’re very fortunate, and we’re not worthy.

Not to be overlooked however from today’s game is the fact that the Rangers offensive woes continued, the fact that the Bruins were able to keep them pinned in their own zone for most of the third period, holding the Rangers to just 1 shot on goal in the 20 minute frame.

Even though they’re finding ways to win these games only scoring 1 goal (see above) it’s not going to continue because it can’t. The Rangers after scoring 6, 6, and 5 goals have now gone on streaks of 1, 1, and 1. Not for lack of effort, aside from the Ottawa game and the third period of tonight’s contest, the Rangers need to find a way to start putting the puck in the back of the net again.

Also not to be overlooked tonight is the concept of team defense. The Rangers were extraordinary in that facet of the game today. They gave Lundqvist the assist he needed in blocking 29 shots in the game, more than Lundqvist did, 18 of which came in the third period and none more dramatic than Sean Avery diving to block one late in the third period. You know Tortorella is going to LOVE that effort and I think everyone watching the game loved it too. Boyle led the way with 5 blocks, followed by McDonagh and Girardi who both blocked 4.

You know what that team looked like today? Tom Renney’s classic “five in the frame” work ethic in the defensive zone.

What turned out to be a very physical game all got started when the Rangers were very lucky that Stepan wasn’t chased from the faceoff circle after the false start by Vinny Prospal. Stepan wasn’t chased, the puck was dropped, and Prospal was in position ahead of the Bruins forward to get the puck to the point. Nobody picked up Stepan who went to the net and Sauer found his stick for the deflection to give the Rangers the game winning goal just 6:39 into the game.

After that it was the team defense show. You gotta hope Landry Fields, Stoudemire, and Melo are big time Rangers fans because they could learn a few things from that game. The effort below their blueline was maybe the best we’ve seen since the 1-0 shutout win over Vancouver.

The Rangers won’t be pushed around, they can match any teams physical play regardless of the size that’s thrown at them, and anyone whose scared of the Bruins in a 7 game series in case the Rangers can jump into 6th place should have all their qualms thrown out the window. The only thing that had me scared about the Bruins was the physical toll it would take on whatever team set up to play them 7 games in a row. They play a hard game and they have a big team, but the Rangers (again) proved today that they can handle it and eventually succeed in their mission to get two points in the standings.

I’m literally out of words here.

8-1-1 in the last 10…It’s funny what 10 games can do to the standings…

Standings 10 games ago

It was on this date that I called the Rangers out in the blog, saying that a 12-4 or 11-5 record would be necessary to get them into the playoffs, well, they are well on their way to a similar record jumping out of the gate to an 8-1-1 clip in that timeframe.

Compared to the standings as they are right now….

(standings subject to change)

A little misleading right now the shot above as the Habs, Sabres, and Canes are all in action tonight.

What’s possibly the best thing to come out of this game today however may be the three day hiatus in the schedule until the Rangers face off in a huge four point swing game against the Sabres here in (still stuck in winter) Buffalo. The Sabres will play twice (tonight and Tuesday night) before that game against the Rangers, so by that time the Sabres and Rangers will be even in games played at the least, meaning they may very well be tied in points as well the way Buffalo has been playing of late. This game on the 30th is shaping up to be a huge one.

27-0-0 when leading after two

points in 9 of their last 10 games.

If you’re not convinced this team is doing everything it can to solidify a spot in the top 8, you’re kidding yourself.

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