Back on February 2nd, fans of the New York Rangers were uncertain of what the future held for the team for the remainder of the season. After the announcement that goaltender Henrik Lundqvist would miss a good amount of time due to a throat injury, questions emerged about how the team would respond with inexperienced goaltender Cam Talbot as their starter. Could the Rangers possibly make the playoffs with Talbot in net for a good portion of the season?
On February 2nd, the Rangers were in third place with 62 points, trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins and in-state rival New York Islanders. With Talbot filling in for Lundqvist, everyone across the National Hockey League had been stunned with his stellar play, posting a record of 19-8-4 along with a .927 save percentage. What had been the biggest question mark for the Rangers on February 2 had became one of their biggest strengths in a matter of two months.
After a rocky return against Boston back on March 28th, Lundqvist has slowly began to return to old form. Lundqvist had then recorded four straight victories, leading up to the team clinching its first President’s Trophy since the 1993-1994 season, one that is well remembered by Ranger fans.
With the Rangers already clinching the best record in the National Hockey League, the main focus will be on how Lundqvist will respond in playoff action. Last season, the Rangers received incredible goaltending throughout the playoffs, which was a main factor in their run to the Stanley Cup Final. Lundqvist kept the Rangers in many of those playoff games, including three consecutive games facing elimination against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Having played only a handful of games between his return and the end of the regular season, Lundqvist is hoping that he can return to playoff form fast, which had brought the team just three wins short of their first Stanley Cup since 1993-1994.
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