BOSTON — New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist goes by the nickname “King Henrik,” and he even has a neat hat with a crown and his No. 30 on it that he often wears.
Lundqvist was wearing that ballcap as he turned to face the media following his showing in the Rangers’ 5-2 loss to the Bruins in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series. Of course, after allowing a season-high five goals against the B’s, Lundqvist was nothing more than a pauper between the pipes on Sunday afternoon in Boston.
The all-world goalie, the goalie who many see as the best in the world, didn’t exactly prove it in Game 2. But it’s not like it was totally his fault, either, at least not according to him.
“I thought I was in position but [there were] a couple screens and when you give up five goals you can’t be satisfied obviously,” Lundqvist said. “You have to look at the way they scored goals, too. It’s about teamwork out there and today it didn’t really work for us. We just have to talk it through and I have to better and the guys in front of me have to step it up as well.”
In Lundqvist’s defense, the Rangers made some horrible plays in their own end in front of him. Whether it was anything Dan Girardi did at any point when he was in his own end or Derek Brassard‘s uninspired back-check on Milan Lucic‘s third-period goal, or anything in between, the Rangers certainly weren’t airtight defensively.
But still, if you’re going to be one of the best goalies in the world, you can’t let a team hang a five-spot on you in the playoffs. Yet the Vezina finalist was beyond reproach when it came to his head coach discussing his play after the game.
“I’m not evaluating our goaltending,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said after the game. “I don’t need to evaluate Henrik. We know what Henrik is.”
Lundqvist entered the 2013 season having dominated the Bruins in his time with the Rangers. However, the Bruins have started to solve the riddle, relatively speaking. The B’s had scored at least three goals in all four of their games against Lundqvist leading up to Game 2 in which they hung five on him. The Bruins continue to do all of the little things right, and that’s not only helping them get pucks by the usually impenetrable Lundqvist, but it also has Boston halfway to advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.
“I think playing the Bruins is about paying attention to details in the game and I think they have been the better team in that department,” Lundqvist offered. “All the details in the game, they play a solid team game and so do we but when you lack that little bit it’s a tough game. But I’m confident and I’m going to go home and try to play a strong game in the next one.”
However, it also helps that Lundqvist might not be at 100 percent right now. He seemed to be favoring his left arm in the third period, and he grimaced as he put on his windbreaker before addressing the media in the New York dressing room.
“It’s my shoulder,” he confirmed. “We’ll see. We’ll take a look at it.”
Whether it’s getting healthy, improving his play or a little bit of both, something needs to change for Lundqvist and the Rangers moving forward. If not, this series will be over very soon.
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