Opportunity Knocks For Lundqvist and The Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist must beat back the Canadiens (AP)

Henrik Lundqvist must beat back the Canadiens (AP)

For the 2nd game in a row, the Rangers are presented with an opportunity of advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals.

 This team heard the knock at the door in game 5, tonight that knock sounds like explosions that can’t be ignored.

“It’s an amazing opportunity that at the start of the season, we (would’ve) given anything to do — to win a game on home ice to go to the Stanley Cup final.” Brad Richards who plays one of the Rangers 4 horsemen in the leadership group realizes what they have in front of them. We know Marty St. Louis and Ryan McDonagh are saying similar things and getting the boys ready as well. However, one Ranger remains fairly quiet considering all the nonsense hurled his way.

Henrik Lundqvist has had a mentally trying season. It started with possibly the worst start of his NHL career. Lundqvist struggled for much of the early going with a 12-16-2 record. His game was off and he and the Blueshirts were having a painful adjustment period with  Alain Vigneault’s system.

In December the NYR turnaround began and it was led by the King. 21-8-3 was his stat line for the Rangers comeback. If you add in his post season, the numbers impress further at 32-16-3. All puns aside, Lundqvist has been their saving grace.

Now he is faced with knocking off a super desperate Canadiens team that seem to have little respect for him. Rene Bourque who recorded a hat-trick in game 5 decided to shoot off his mouth after the win. “Everybody talks about how he’s a great goalie. Has he been better than [Tokarski] this series? I don’t think so.”

Well the answer is yes, he has been better but let’s not focus on that nonsense. The quote is simply Bourque trying to pump up his teammate, while giving fuel to Henrik’s fire. Not exactly smart. Especially when you consider how Henrik responds after giving up 4 goals.

The King has given up 4 goals three times in this post-season. Each time he has comeback with a win. He is 3-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .967 SAVE%, and his singular focus will be to make sure the Rangers close out game 6.

So tonight, the Rangers hear the pounding at the door. It is loud and waiting to be answered. Behind that door is an opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup and when the Rangers open the door, it will be Henrik Lundqvist’s face it will see first.

I leave you all with my rally cry from 1994. It was one I feel fits this team now more than ever…use it and make it your own:





Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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