Posts Tagged ‘Henrik Lundqvist’

Last season: 44-33-5, 93 points. 8th East, lost in first round to Washington (4-1).

Additions: D Tim Erixon, C Brad Richards, LW Mike Rupp

Losses: LW Derek Boogaard, C Chris Drury, D Matt Gilroy, LW Alex Frolov, D Bryan McCabe, F Vinny Prospal

Offense:  The Rangers’ offense got a huge punch when they signed Brad Richards.  Richards should be a good playmaker for Marian Gaborik, provided both guys stay healthy.  Their linemate could be Wojtek Wolski, who was traded midseason for the second year in a row.  The second line consists of team points leader Brandon Dubinsky (54), new team captain Ryan Callahan and young Russian Artem Anisimov.  The trio combined for 65 goals and 146 points.  Derek Stepan started off hot in his rookie year, scoring 14 goals by the All-Star break, but tailed off after.  In rookie scoring, he finished fifth in both goals (24) and points (45).  Brian Boyle was an unlikely contributor, scoring 21 goals, shattering his full season career high of 4.  Ruslan Fedotenko is a reliable veteran who can fill any hole in the lineup.  Tough guy Brandon Prust had 13 goals to go along with his 18 fights.  Sean Avery might have played himself off of the team.

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In the first game of part three, Joey’s Penguins traveled to Columbus to take on Rob’s Jackets. The game was pretty uneventful for most of the first period, until Ed Olczyk took a kneeing penalty. 26 seconds later, Ulf Samuelsson was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for checking from behind. On the ensuing five on three advantage, Fedor Tyutin scored to head into the first intermission with the Jackets leading 1-0. The Penguins killed off the remainder of the powerplay in the second period and at 7:17, Kevin Miller tied the game. About a minute later, Ray Whitney gave Columbus back its’ one goal lead. Early in the third, Kevin Miller once again tied the game. Two minutes later, Darius Kasparaitis gave Pittsburgh its’ first lead of the game. Ed Olczyk added a goal to give the Penguins some cushion and a 4-2 win. (more…)

As the NHL season comes to a close, we are going to vote on the NHL Awards, and four of us will pick one candidate each to “campaign” for. At the bottom, you will see balloting and the final results.

Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins by Joey

Throughout October and November, Marc-Andre Fleury was Public Enemy Number 1 to the local fans and a butt to jokes at the water cooler around NHL fans at work. Then one crisp November evening, Fleury won a game, it was a shutout, it was at home and he had the fans backing him once again. Since that point Fleury was himself again. But what makes him Hart worthy is his play after the Penguins lost Crosby and Malkin after the turn of the New Year. While statistically, Fleury may not be a standout choice, this award is for the player deemed most indispensible to his team. As solid of a defensive pairing as the free agent tandem of Zybnek Michalek and Paul Martin were in junction with the coaching of Dan Bylsma to keep the Penguins ship pointed in the right direction, this season collapses to potentially out of the playoffs without Marc-Andre Fleury’s play. It’s only proper to go beyond numbers, and recognize the true MVP this season.

Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks by Realdeal

Perry emerged in 2010-11 as a superstar.  The Ducks forward was the only NHLer to notch 50 goals this season, securing the Rocket Richard trophy for most goals.  But his play down the stretch where he carried the Ducks from 11th to 4th propelled him into the Hart debate.  Perry scored 19 goals in his final 14 games, helping his team to a 10-4 record during that time.  He tied for first in game winning goals with 11, and tied for first with 18 special teams goals (14 PPG, 4 SHG; tied for 5th in both individual categories).  Despite his borderline play (104 PIM), Perry is the choice this year.

Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks by Gabbi

The real league MVP is one half of the league’s most dynamic duo; Daniel Sedin of Sedin Twins & Co. This season, Daniel lead the league in points (104), was fourth in goals, and third in assists (his brother Henrik had the most assists). His 18 power play goals were also tops in the league, and his game winners third most. The only thing Sedin was not tops in the league of was penalty minutes and shooting percentage. All in all, the top five man should be number one this year in the Hart Trophy voting.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks by Cujo

When you vote for Hart, consider voting for Jonathan Toews, the other guys are all impressive, but they do not come close to what Toews has done for Chicago. The Blackhawks captain led his team in points (2nd in goals, assists, powerplay goals, +/-, and shots on goal), and also led the team in game winning goals. In the regular season when Chicago struggled, Toews kept going strong, when he wasn’t scoring, he was setting up goals. Especially in the month of February during a important playoff point race, he scored 3 game winning goals against conference foes Minnesota, St.Louis, and Columbus.

Final Voting (more…)

As the NHL season comes to a close, we are going to vote on the NHL Awards, and four of us will pick one candidate each to “campaign” for. At the bottom, you will see balloting and the final results.

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers by Gabbi

This might seem like a homer-analysis to some and that’s fine. But from a statistical standpoint, Henrik Lundqvist was left out of the running for the top goaltender in the league. Yet again. Of course, this year, Tim Thomas is an essential lock for the trophy. So why not throw Lundqvist a bone and give him a nomination? In his 6 seasons as an NHL starter, he has been nominated in his first three seasons of play, and has never won. He’s currently the only goaltender in NHL history to have 30 or more wins in his first 6 seasons of play (he held the record for 5 and shared the record of 4 with Ron Hextall). This season, he was 36-27-5 with a 2.28 Goals Against Average and a .923 Save percentage. Comparatively, his GAA was 7th best in the league, his save % 8th, Wins 8th, and lead the league in shutouts with 11. (He was also #4 in the league with shootout wins.)  King Henrik should have been recognized for his efforts in New York as their team MVP and have been given a Vezina nomination.

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks by Joey

Though considered a bit of a long shot, Roberto Luongo should garner more of your thought, attention, and votes for the Vezina this season. Like the fine wine adage, he only gets better with age as he has set personal bests in goals against (2.11 GAA) and his best save percentage (.928) since joining Vancouver. Though there is a few standout netminders that have even better statistics, its more than simply a numbers game. As solid of defense as Vancouver has, it’s not like Luongo only faced 20 shots a night and had tea and crumpets in the goal crease most games. Quite often he more than kept his team in games providing his fair share of pavement on the Canucks road to the President’s Trophy. Don’t get fooled just by numbers. Strongly consider Roberto Luongo for the Vezina.

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators by Realdeal

Rinne had a breakout year for Nashville, posting career highs in wins (33, 14th in the league), GAA (2.12, 3rd), Save Percentage (93.0%, 2nd).  He also posted six shutouts, good enough for sixth in the league.  On a team with a less than potent offense, Nashville relied on Rinne, and he rose to the challenge. He put the Predators on his shoulders and led them to fifth place in the West.   He faced the sixth most shots in the league (1771), more than the other two Vezina finalists. Put Rinne on a team with more offense support like his Vezina competitors and he surely increases his win total.

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins by Cujo

Tim Thomas should get your vote and pretty much be a lock for the Vezina trophy. While the other goalies may have had great seasons, nobody could touch Tim. Setting the record for highest regular season save percentage with .938 , throw on top a league leading goals against average of 2.00 and 9 shutouts, and you have yourself prime Vezina material. Another note of interest, this was the second highest amount of saves he’s had to make in his NHL career in one season (1699, the MOST he’s faced was 1796 in 06-07).

Final Voting

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Today, word out of Rangers camp is that Captain Chris Drury will be out for four weeks with a broken finger. While some are more concerned as to who will fill his spot on the roster, I’m more concerned as to who will be the team’s captain for the month while he’s out. Normally I wouldn’t be bothered as to who is named captain if the injury happened in the middle of the season. However, this is a new season and the tone has to be set early, and the league has to know who the Rangers are and what they’ll bring to the table. Picking the new temporary captain is like me searching for a mid-afternoon snack; you have a bunch of options, each with their own appeal. I’ve narrowed it down to seven choices, unique in their own way.

Most likely candidates:

✧Ryan Callahan. Callahan is like the peanut butter sandwich; always something you know will never disappoint you. You can mix it up a few ways, too, with crunchy or creamy peanut butter. Cally is a candidate for captain mainly because he already has a letter on his jersey, and because he plays like there’s no tomorrow. He is already the first member of the ‘core’ to be bestowed with any type of captaincy.

✧Valclav Prospal. Vinny is the bran muffin of the situation, and I’m not making him the bran just because he’s the veteran of the group. The muffin is a good choice because you know that it’s been good in the past. However, if you hit a burnt spot, you feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

✧Marc Staal. Number eighteen is like the ever-popular New York fall treat Mallomars. (For those unfamiliar with the munchies, they’re essentially small moon pies.) Just like Mallomars, Staal’s captaincy would be a limited time engagement; one that New Yorkers will sink their teeth into once the opportunity arises again. Staal captained the Sudbury Wolves before coming to the Rangers, and is the leader of the defensive corps. Some form of captaincy is in the future for Staal, so why not start now?

Other options:

✧Sean Avery. Would it surprise anyone that Sean Avery is like the chips and salsa? Though a favorite amongst many, it doesn’t go without risks. Will the salsa be too spicy? Will the chip break under the salsa’s chunky goodness? It could be a gamble, but it could be one that you can reap the benefits of if it works in your favor.

✧No Captain/Alternate captain rotation. Of course there’s always just water. Coach Tortorella might opt for a three-assistant captain rotation (in which the “most likely candidates” will in all likelihood, rotate.) It’s a very likely option, but I’d love to see a captain named for opening night.

Please Don’t Pick Them:

✧Henrik Lundqvist. It didn’t work for Vancouver & Roberto Louongo. Please, please, please don’t take the bread and butter and make him captain. You got Biron to take the weight of of Hank’s shoulders, so don’t put it back on with the captaincy.

✧ Marian Gaborik. While being the top scorer and captain usually go hand-in-hand, this shouldn’t be in Gaborik’s hands. While pita crisps and peach vinegar sound like a sexy option, it may not work out so well in the end.

In the world of John Tortorella, you never know what you’re going to get. Just savor the meal no matter what you end up with.