If Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers were to retire today, he would rank as one of the five most accomplished goalies of the past four decades. With continued success over this and the five remaining seasons on his contract, Lundqvist could ultimately compete with Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur as the best goalie of the modern era. There's no question Lundqvist is one of the most valuable goalies in the NHL. The 33-year-old has been named the first star of the game eight times this season, tied for second behind forward Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals (10), and has been named one of the game's three stars 18 times, tied for second behind forward Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (20), according to Sporting Charts. No active goalie has been among the League's best as consistently as Lundqvist, who has received Vezina Trophy consideration in all 10 of his NHL seasons. He finished third in his rookie season (2005-06) and in the two following seasons, then finished sixth in 2008-09, a point past which he has never fallen. He won the award for the 2011-12 season. Since the 1981-82 season, the Vezina Trophy has been awarded to the NHL's most outstanding goalie, as voted on by the general managers. As a frame of reference, Grant Fuhr was a rookie with the Edmonton Oilers that season. Since then, two goalies have finished top six in the voting more frequently than Lundqvist: Brodeur and Roy. No other active goalie is on this list; 16-season veteran Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers has four top-six finishes, and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators each have three. How much more Vezina Trophy consideration does Lundqvist have to accumulate to be held in the same esteem as Brodeur and Roy? Given that goalies receive five points for a first-place vote, three points for second place, and one point for third, and adjusting for the fact there are 30 GMs voting today, compared to 21 in the 1990-91 season, Lundqvist has accumulated 254 points. That puts him in fourth place, behind Brodeur (451), Hasek (400) and Roy (384). At 25 points per season, Lundqvist would be 37 when he approaches Roy's totals in 2019-20, and 38 when he passes Hasek the following season, after which his contract expires. If Lundqvist could keep this pace in his twilight seasons, he would catch Brodeur at age 42. Vezina voting doesn't tell the whole story; they are weighted heavily on a variety of other considerations, including wins and losses. Ideally, there would be a pure statistical comparison between Lundqvist and Roy, Brodeur and Hasek, but most modern goaltending statistics weren't available until recently. Quality starts, for example, were first recorded in the 2007-08 season. Save percentage was first recorded in 1983-84, which was Fuhr's third season, and can be used to establish a more objective ranking of which goalies were the best, or among the top five or top 10 at any given time. This table considers only goalies who played at least half of their team's games in a given season, which means 40 games in the days of Fuhr, 42 in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and 41 since then, excluding 24 in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 and 2012-13 seasons, and so far in 2015-16. Even from this objective perspective, Lundqvist ranks as one of the most consistent top-10 goalies of the past 32 years. This perspective does highlight one difference between Lundqvist and Roy and Hasek, in that Lundqvist has never led the NHL in save percentage. He has finished in the top 10 in nine of his 11 seasons, and in the top four twice. In contrast, Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins have done it three times, and the four times Price has finished on the leaderboard, he has been in the top five. That means Roy and Hasek are in a different category than Lundqvist, and their achievements may never be matched. In terms of style, Lundqvist may be more like Brodeur: a strong and reliable goalie on a consistently competitive team, but rarely the very best. Lundqvist is likely to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. In Hockey Abstract 2014, Iain Fyffe presented a system, dubbed the Inductinator, which is "designed to predict which hockey players would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame." In the specific sections dealing with goaltending, Fyffe wrote, "Goaltenders receive points for career regular-season games and wins, career playoff games, Stanley Cups won as a starter, postseason All-Star selections, and Vezina, Smythe and Hart awards. Points are also awarded for high-level international games played (Olympics, World Championships) and for career NHL won-loss differential. Finally, if the goalie played less than 600 career games, his suffers a penalty." According to Fyffe's calculations, Lundqvist will be in the Hall of Fame, based on the past selections of its voters. Fyffe expects Lundqvist will need to wait two to six years after eligibility, but that could change with continued success.
PHILADELPHIA -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist sat at his locker after a 3-2 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and talked about his luck. He talked about how lucky he's been to have teammates help him and how lucky he's been to have coaches who have had the confidence to play him so often. But there are 11 seasons' worth of New York Rangers players, coaches and fans who feel lucky to have had Lundqvist in net. Lundqvist's win Saturday was his 20th of the season, making him the first NHL goaltender to start his career with 11 straight 20-win seasons. He also joined Hockey Hall of Fame member Tony Esposito and Martin Brodeur as the only goalies with 11 straight 20-win seasons at any point in their career. Lundqvist is the 15th goalie with at least 11 20-win seasons. His 359 wins are 17th all-time, and second among active goalies behind the Florida Panthers' Roberto Luongo (420). Among active goalies to play at least 300 games, his .921 save percentage ranks first and his 2.27 goals-against average is second to the Los Angeles Kings' Jonathan Quick. His 57 shutouts are second to Luongo (71). Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy in 2012 and has been a finalist four other times and has been considered among the elite goaltenders in the League since not long after he arrived in the NHL for the 2005-06 season. "I take a lot of pride in my numbers," Lundqvist said. "I want to make the most of it with my career. Try to work hard and try to help this team to win games. But I've been lucky. I've been part of so many good teams, good players that have been supportive throughout my career. Also I've been given the opportunity to play a lot of games." Lundqvist has earned his right to control the net. He'd likely be building toward his 11th straight 30-win season were it not for the lockout-shortened season in 2012-13. He had 24 wins in 43 games that season, a pace that would have given him 40 wins in an 82-game season. "He's one the elite goaltenders in the League, there's no doubt," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "I think what's brought him there to that level is his work ethic and his preparation and his mental capacity. He's real focused and oriented in the right areas. That's why he's one of the elite goaltenders." Lundqvist is 20-12-4 in 37 games this season. His 2.46 GAA is higher than his lifetime average (2.27) but he said Saturday he's starting to feel his game is rounding into shape; Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in three straight games. "I feel like my game is definitely moving in the right direction," he said. "Technically I'm getting close to where I want to be. Mentally you gain more and more confidence as you do more and more good things out there. ... Technically I feel like I'm playing my game. Not only the last two, but my last four, five technically. And mentally you gain confidence as you do more and more good things. It helps when you win for sure. But you feel like you're doing the right things." Lundqvist may be a harsh grader. To his teammates, he's always outstanding. And the only luck is what they feel when they look behind them and see him standing in the crease. "I feel like I say it every year, every game he breaks another record," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said. "We're just lucky to have him back there. He made a couple huge saves tonight to keep us in the game. It's nice to know he's back there for you. He just comes up with something every night that's special. He's got a long career ahead of him and we're glad to have him on our team."
Henrik Lundqvist is not only superstar in the NHL - he is moreover generous that few. Now he donates $80,000 dollars to the Ronald McDonald House in Gothenburg. The Rangers star is very involved when it comes to charity, both in their own "Henrik Lundqvist Foundation" and the Rangers charity. Last spring, he was nominated for an award for his work. - It feels very honored and fun. I, my wife Therese and the other people who work with the organization has put much time and effort to develop Henrik Lundqvist Foundation last eighteen months and support from friends and fans has been fantastic, 'said Lundqvist Sportbladet. Now Lundqvist done it again. Super Swede donates $80,000 dollars, 672 800 SEK to the Ronald McDonald House in Gothenburg. "It is an honor to Henry wants to invest in the Ronald McDonald House of Sweden, in the city he lived in for several years, playing for Frölunda HC. We are proud, excited and honored!" Writes the association on its Facebook.