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Friday, February 1, 2013

Lundqvist Needs More Help In 2013


The following article is a guest post that was submitted to me by the people at We saw the Rangers step up their level of play in front of Martin Biron the other night. Hopefully they can continue that level in front of Henrik tomorrow in New Jersey.

Despite the season just being a few weeks old, Henrik Lundqvist already has to be a bit fed up with the help he is receiving from his defense. While the numbers suggest that Lundqvist is struggling in the first few games this season, those watching the games can see that he is often left in difficult situations to make the stops he has been known for throughout his career.

The New York Rangers have started off the lockout-shortened season 3-3-0. Although it is still extremely early, Lundqvist just recently improved his save percentage enough to get it above 90%. In the first two games, the Lundqvist and the defense were lost at times, giving up nine goals to the Bruins and Penguins combined.

Chemistry issues seem to be the main focal point for people critically looking at this 2013 squad. That can be expected though, especially with some new faces on the team and the lack of a formal training camp due to the lockout. Rick Nash has been pretty solid so far this season, but the defense that helps prevent Lundqvist from being vulnerable just has not been there yet. When it is Lundqvist will be a definite starter for any fantasy hockeyheads out there.

Better times seem to be on the way for the Rangers and Lundqvist though due to their level of play. After having a dreadful first period against the Maple Leafs last weekend, he shut them out over the next two. He backed that up with a solid performance against the Flyers, who were only able to find the back of the net once late in the game on a power play.

Overall, the Rangers appear to be just fine. They were the top team in the Eastern Conference last season, so obviously expectations are high. Lundqvist is improving after a slow start, but nothing he is doing individually really seems to indicate that he has lost anything. As he continues to age, that could be an issue, but for now the timing and overall chemistry is the biggest worry. Once they give him the help he needs, the Rangers will begin to climb back up in the standings as one of the best teams in the NHL.

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