With the two young New York Rangers goaltenders receiving the uptick in starts, have we truly seen the last of Henrik Lundqvist’s days as ‘the guy’ on Broadway?
The changing of the guard seems to be a theme in New York City these days. We watched the New York Giants two-time Super Bowl champion, Eli Manning, pass the torch to Daniel Jones in the fall and now it looks as though the end of Henrik Lundqvist’s time with the New York Rangers is upon us as well.
It’s been a question in ambiguity for several years now and at first, I dismissed it because I thought it was just dramatized by the media. But, it’s time to sit down and acknowledge that Henrik Lundqvist’s days as the New York Rangers starting goaltender at the least limited and if not, over, after 14 years.
It is tough to compare the strategy of an NFL quarterback depth chart versus that of an NHL goaltender. One guy upholds the starting gig in order to lead a football team, while today’s NHL requires at least two reliable options to start on a 23-man roster. Gone are the days of starting a goalie for 72 games. However, the Blueshirts situation is obviously a bit more complicated with three options.
The 37-year-old future Hall of Famer’s last start was on February 3, while Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev have shared the reigns since, going 5-2 in that stint. Shesterkin is 6-1, proving his outrageous numbers can still float at the NHL level.
Coach David Quinn has finally been transparent in revealing that it is no longer all about keeping guys sharp, it is now about playing the hot hand. As we stand right now, Lundqvist is third on that depth chart. It’s not that Hank’s play has been subpar, either. The two younger guys are just playing lights out. And after all, this is all about the future rather than now.