Henrik Lundqvist looks sharp to start the season
Game one is in the books.
Despite getting the loss, Henrik Lundqvist showed flashes of his younger self against one of the most lethal teams in the National Hockey League.
The header was there, one-on-one high scoring chances were stopped, and the goals allowed were certainly not softies. Goal one was a rifle from Forsberg and the GWG was screened by Shattenkirk. Overall, it seemed like Hank was King Henrik, and the spotlight of last season’s mishaps are now just a fading glimmer.
Lundqvist spoke on the teams performance after the home opener, and elaborated on what to expect in the coming games, as reported by the New York Post. “I thought we improved throughout the game, but I like how hard we worked,” he said. “I think it’s going to come; we’re going to improve each game. We had our moments.”
Henrik Lundqvist will play tomorrow in Buffalo and Alexandar Georgiev will likely go Sunday in Carolina, per David Quinn.
— Colin Stephenson (@ColinSNewsday) October 5, 2018
This is to be expected at the start the season. The next few games will dictate the rest of the season, jumping out of the gate with positive results bodes well with the confidence of this team. Giving Georgiev a more talented team than Buffalo is a smart move, in terms of gauging his effectiveness for the rest of the season. Carolina is a good team, with solid scorers all around on both offence and defence.
Here is a preview of what Lundqvist will have to face over the next three games.
King Hank has a good chance of picking up win number one against the upstate competition. Buffalo Is still trying to figure out their rebuild, but have a leader to depend upon. Jack Eichel, the newly named captain, is among one of the best in the league. Aside from Eichel, and minus Ryan O’Reilly, the scorers are strained.
Similar to Nashville, San Jose is a contender. That was before getting two-time Norris Trophy winner, Erik Karlsson. Shots will be coming in from all areas and the King will have to be ready for the firing squad. Not to jab at the Rangers defensive core, but they are going to have a tough time against Evander Kane, Brent Burns, Karlsson and Tomas Hertl.
Penalties will be the key to the game. Obviously the Rangers should not be trying to commit penalties, but it will be particularly important not too against San Jose. The powerplay will be important, but awfully difficult. Last season, San Jose boasted a penalty kill percentage of 84.82%, second highest in all of the NHL. The Rangers did not have much of a chance against Nashville to really stretch their legs with the man advantage, only having one chance.
Connor McDavid. If Hank can shut him down, the Ranger have a shot to win this game. Behind the captain and Art Ross winner, is Leon Draisaitl with 70 points last season. Edmonton hasn’t found their edge either, with only having one playoff appearance two seasons ago. Lundqvist will have a good chance of facing off against his former back-up, Cam Talbot.