During the past few years, the trail of thought was that if the Rangers could find a way to get their All World goaltender extra rest, he would be better prepared for the grind of the playoffs. Last season saw the Rangers finally able to give Henrik Lundqvist extra rest (thanks to a healthy and reliable Martin Biron) and promptly the Rangers made the conference finals; their finest season in years.
It is worth considering whether, during the lockout, if Lundqvist would benefit from an extended break or whether he’d be better off padding up and getting back on the ice. Media reports have recently suggested Lundqvist may head back home to the Swedish Elite League. What is best for Lundqvist however is influenced by the potential length of the lockout, which right now, is like guessing the length of a piece of string.
If the lockout lasts the entire the season (and/or beyond) then some competitive hockey in Europe for Lundqvist makes sense, but the difficulty is in anticipating when a season may begin. If NHL play resumes before the turn of the year then Lundqvist would be better off, certainly in the long term, staying off the ice. A few months of extra rest may extend the goaltender’s career and keep him fresh. A well rested Lundqvist is a dominant Lundqvist.
The Rangers should be in contention if there is a 2012/2013 season, and if Lundqvist plays during the lockout – and how much he plays – could be a situation worth monitoring.