Chasing 400 winsFebruary 11, 2017, by
I remember watching when Henrik Lundqvist first arriving on the scene in 2005. Kevin Weekes had just gone down with an injury, and the soon to be anointed King took over for a game. Then one game became two. Then two became two in a row. Then three in a row, and then he was the starter, appearing in 53 games that season and winning 30 of them.
That was his first 30 win season. He would win at least 30 in every non-lockout season following, and sits at 399 career wins. Usually I’m hesitant to use goaltender wins as a mark of success because it is a team oriented stat, but in watching Hank you know he carried a number of those Rangers teams much farther than they should have been. Without Hank, the post-Jaromir Jagr teams are non-playoff teams until 2011-2012.
It goes beyond wins too. Lundqvist hasn’t had a season below a .920 SV% since the 2008-2009 season. He topped out at a .930 SV% in 2011-2012, winning the Vezina in the process. Lundqvist’s point shares (estimated number of points in the standings he earned by starting in net) has never fallen below 9, and has been as high as 15 in the past. His GSAA is just absurd.
But the recent comparison has been to Carey Price, who himself is an elite goaltender. People seem to think Price is and always has been the better goalie. But he’s not:
Carey Price vs. Henrik Lundqvist : 20072008 – 20162017 : Game-By-Game xGS : 2017-02-01 pic.twitter.com/tLJ0t5ERnC
— DTM About Heart (@DTMAboutHeart) February 1, 2017
It’s not even close really.
To get to 400 wins, you need a few things. It’s clear Hank has the skill. He’s a generational talent in net. One that wasn’t made by a stifling defense in the dead puck era. He played most of his years with a fairly porous defense, and still came out looking like a King.
Hank is already 12th all time in wins. He will be 9th by the time the season ends. He will probably be top-five in wins by the time he calls it a career. Brodeur’s 691 wins isn’t going to happen, but Hank has a sizable lead on Brodeur in career SV% (.920 vs. .912).
Henrik Lundqvist’s greatest flaw is that he is consistently elite. The norm is for him to win 30 games and have a SV% of .920. So when he doesn’t hit one of those marks (he’s at .911 SV% now), it seems like a down year. But let’s not forget that 400 wins is an incredible feat. Folks always complain about wanting generational talent, but we have been watching a generational talent for a decade."Chasing 400 wins",