The Zionist Conspiracy
Friday, February 08, 2008
Is The King Falling?
Two seasons ago, Henrik Lundqvist and Jaromir Jagr finally brought some excitement back to hockey at Madison Square Garden. For most of that 2005-06 season, the Rangers were division leaders and among the top three teams in the Eastern Conference. Ultimately, after his gold medal performance in the Olympics, Lundqvist led the Rangers' late season slide, culminating in their first-round sweep at the hands of the Devils.
Last season, Lundqvist and Jagr both got off to slow starts, but both got hot down the stretch. The Rangers' second round playoff loss to the Sabres was disappointing, but with the July 1 signings of Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, there was renewed optimism that the Rangers would be Stanley Cup contenders this season.
Alas, the Rangers have been woefully inconsistent throughout the season, and while they have the talent to make a run during the playoffs, right now it is questionable that the Rangers will make the playoffs at all. While the Rangers are currently in seventh place in the East with 60 points, the Bruins and Sabres are close behind and both have four games in hand.
After a great start in which he covered up for the terrible starts by Gomez, Jagr and Drury, Lundqvist has, for the third straight season, slid into a prolonged slump. His 2.37 goals against average - good for 13th place in the NHL - is identical to the GAA of his backup, Stephen Valiquette.
Overall Lundqvist has had a pretty good year. But while he can hardly be considered a bust, nor has he emerged as the franchise goalie Rangers fan desperately assume he will be for the next decade.
With Lundqvist likely to soon sign a massive contract that will tie up a substantial amount of salary cap room for years to come, the future of the team will largely hinge on whether he is really The King, or merely a little better than Rick DiPietro.