The New York Rangers have defeated the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With Henrik Lundqvist playing well, they can compete for the cup.
After a fun first round series against the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While there were multiple reasons why the Rangers were able to advance, the main one was because of their goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Coming into the playoffs, one of the biggest question marks for the Rangers was Lundqvist. It is crazy to say that the future Hall of Famer was a cause for concern for the Rangers, but that was the case coming into the playoffs.
This season, Lundqvist totaled a 31-20-4 record, 2.74 GAA, and .910 save percentage. Both the goals allowed per game and save percentage were the worst in the career of Lundqvist, but that looks like a thing of the past.
Against the Canadiens, Lundqvist totaled a 1.70 GAA, and .947 save percentage. If not for some turnovers that led to easy looks for the Canadiens, Lundqvist’s numbers could be even better. As of now, Lundqvist’s number are some of the best we have seen in his postseason career. Compared to the struggles that we saw from Lundqvist in the postseason last year, this looks like a totally different player.
Due to Lundqvist getting hot at the right time, the Rangers suddenly find themselves in a position to make a run at the Stanley Cup. After defeating the Canadiens, the Rangers will get an easier opponent in the second round when they face the Ottawa Senators.
Any road to the Stanley Cup would eventually have to go through the Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins. However, the Rangers could certainly compete with either of those two in a possible Eastern Conference Finals.
In the Stanley Cup playoffs, sometimes all it takes is getting your goalie hot. For the Rangers, Lundqvist is certainly playing his best hockey of the season. If that continues, the Rangers will be a team to be feared in the Eastern Conference.