By his own admission, Henrik Lundqvist had a miserable Game 5 in Montreal. He allowed four goals on just 19 shots before being pulled in the second period in favor of back-up goaltender Cam Talbot.
Lundqvist said post game that he felt slow and needed to be quicker. Which makes sense considering he’s started all 19 of the Rangers playoff games over the last month and a half.
So are Lundqvist’s teammates concerned about prolonged struggles from The King? No chance, as they expect him to bounce back big time tonight (via Bergen Record).
“I would imagine we’re going to see one of (Lundqvist’s) better performances, especially going back to his [home] crowd and wanting to rebound from that. It’s not something we’ll have to worry about. We always know he’ll regroup.”
“He’ll be fine. It’s the last concern of anyone on our team.”
“I just gave him a quick pat after the game, but Henrik doesn’t need to hear anything from me. He’s a veteran player, one of the best in his area and I’m sure he’s going to be focused and ready for the next game.”
While I 100% agree with the players’ predictions for Lundqvist tonight, the numbers don’t necessarily back-up their claims.
According to Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record, Lundqvist is 0-4 with a 5.53 GAA and .808 save percentage in his last five non-Game 7 clinching attempts.
(Amended look at wrong column) Lundqvist next game after being pulled career playoffs: 3 starts, 1-2, 3.00 GAA, .887 SV% (Elias) #NYR
— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) May 28, 2014
…so I guess we know why the Rangers have played so many Game 7s lately. Those numbers are brutal from Lundqvist. Obviously, the team’s poor performance around him is a factor for those struggles, but I must admit I’m alarmed by those stats.
…my hope is that the Rangers go into tonight’s game with a do-or-die mentality, because, despite their recent success in Game 7s, I’m not sure there’s a Blueshirts fans alive who would feel confident going back to Montreal with a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals on the line. There are too many ghosts in that building to contend with.
…now, of course, that’s easier said than done. A player can tell you all they want that they’re going to approach a Game 6 like a must win, but in the back of their mind they still know there’s a Game 7 safety net.
…i’ve got to admit, I’m freaking out a little bit this morning.
On a positive note…
@TheNYRBlog Flip side; Hank after giving up 4+ goals in a playoff game is 5-1, 1.17GAA and 0.963 SV%
— Kyle – T4R (@nyihater4life) May 29, 2014