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Of Kings and Heirs

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Posted 10-07-2014 at 02:26 PM by AdamJones113
Updated 10-07-2014 at 02:26 PM by AdamJones113 (Formatting)

Of Kings And Heirs

Is Henrik Lundqvist the King of the NHL?

So often referred to as "King" Henrik, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, is, well the King. But lately, the Empire State's favourite monarch has been less than his royal airs, more like a royal heir.

Lundqvist is the first goalie to record 30+ wins in his 7 straight first seasons (and would have 9 if not for a lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. He's got most of the Rangers' career highs at the back. He's gone the longest without allowing an Olympic goal (172+ minutes). And, arguably most importantly, he's got the longest streak of Game 7 wins, with 5.

Wait, wait, but he's not the guy that's never lost a Game 7? Nope: that's Johnathan Quick, who also happens to be the goalie that beat Lundqvist's Rangers in the most recent Stanley Cup. Quick also won the Cup in 2012, when Los Angeles became the first 8th seed to win. Lundqvist hasn't yet won a Cup. Lundqvist has a 2.28 GAA (Goals Against Average), Quick a 2.25; Lundqvist a .922 SPCT (Save Percentage), Quick a .915. Negligible, and we can assume Quick can paraphrase Patrick Roy (click on this and go to 1:58).

Wait a sec, but didn't both Lundqvist and Quick lose to Carey Price and Team Canada in the Olympics? Yeah, they did, and Price shut both of them out. And he had a .927 SPCT last year, beating Lundqvist by 7 percent and Quick by 12. And Price plays on a team that doesn't have the firepower and defensive ability that Lundqvist's Rangers and Quick's Kings do.

However, if we want to discuss last year, you can't leave out defending Vezina Trophy Winner (Awarded to the best goalie in the League—of the 3 previous only Lundqvist won, in 2012) Tuukka Rask. Rask's short career until this point can be divided into two parts—the back-up part, when he performed adequately as a backup, and the past two years where he had GAA's UNDER 2.00 and a SPCT of .936. Arguably no goalie has been better in the past two seasons.

So it's a throw-up between the current King and the uprisers. Quick has had the most superstardom—and 2 more Stanley Cup rings than all of the other combined. Price has international stardom and some nasty consistency. Rask has the brightest future. But Lundqvist faced criticism in 2011 when he lost 27 games in a row for the second straight year, and he bounced back with a Vezina.

This King's speech isn't quite over.
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