henrik lunqdvist

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac (Newsday)

The Rangers received some brutal news yesterday, as goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will be out for 2-3 weeks with a lower body injury. It may not seem brutal at the moment due to Antti Raanta’s superb play, but if this is something that will linger into the playoffs for Hank, then it could be a critical blow to any chances this year. As always, I have some thoughts.

1. As mentioned above, if this is something that lingers, it could pose a serious problem for this year’s playoff chances. As great as Raanta’s been, he’s not Lundqvist, and he’s not playoff Lundqvist. Hank steps up his game in the playoffs, and when one of the top goalies in the world gets hot, anything can happen. If he gets hot like he did to kick off last season, then the Rangers could make a run. Again, no slight against Raanta, but he’s no Hank.

2. There are two scary things here. The first is that Lundqvist is 35 years old. He’s not young. Injuries take longer to heal at that age, especially lingering ones. The injury went from one day to two weeks pretty quickly without any explanation or details. That does not leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

3. The second scary thing is that there are no details regarding the injury. Usually we get some kind of details, from broken leg (Zibanejad) to separated shoulder (Fast). With Lundqvist? Nada. Just “lower body.” What happened? When did it happen? Mum’s the word right now.

4. The next eight games are all in the form of a back-to-back. However five of the first six are against non-playoff teams (Isles are borderline). Raanta will get a good number of these starts, but that is a heavy workload. Even if there are off days in between, I wonder if Magnus Hellberg gets a start?

5. For those hoping the Rangers get that WC1 spot, the Lundqvist injury comes at a good time.

6. Rob, who was a guest on last week’s podcast, brought up an interesting point. Could this be a sly way of getting Hank some extra rest before the playoffs?


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