The King Must Lead His Army In Game 6

The King must keep his eyes on the prize in game 6 (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The King must keep his eyes on the prize in game 6 (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Tonight at the the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, The King must lead his army to victory. Henrik Lundqvist, has had a fine playoff so far. His numbers are actually fantastic with a 1.81 GAA and a .926 SV%. Yet, his record sits at 3-2.

The Rangers goaltender has accomplished so much in his career already. He has won Gold at the Olympics, captured the Vezina for best NHL goalie and leads the Rangers in all-time regular season wins and shutouts. All that remains for Henrik is playoff success.

In 72 career playoff games, Lundqvist is a shocking 33 and 39! No, that isn’t a typo, it’s a fact. His save percentage and goals against average are solid¬†(.921 / 2.25), which leads you to believe a lot has to do with the team in front of him.

However, the Blueshirts have been legit contenders now since 2011-12, and his record sits a 18-19. For critics and some fans alike, he simply hasn’t stepped up in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Mix in the fact that the Rangers have failed to win 11 consecutive times when leading in a series, and you can understand the criticism.

Today, Henrik Lundqvist has an opportunity to put his stamp on this season’s playoffs. Up until this point, he has only been named one of the games 3 stars once. That came in game 5 (3rd star), and he hasn’t been overly tested this series. Matter of fact, of all the goalies in the playoffs with 5 or more games, he is second to last on the list with only 122 shots against (MIN, Kuemper 106). In contrast Bobrovsky 218 and Crawford 215, are way ahead in this category.

While that stat proves just how good the NYR defense is, it also shows that Lundqvist hasn’t been called upon yet to steal one. Had he stole just one of his two losses, this series would have already been over.

Game 6 is time for Henrik Lundqvist to not only continue his fine play, but to put the rest of the league and the especially the Pittsburgh Penguins on notice. It’s time for The King to shut the door, close out the Flyers and lead his army into round two.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at YardBarker, and MSN. Features have been linked on Sportsnet, NBC, TFP, NY POST, NEWSDAY and more.