Overrelying on goaltending is a recipe for catastrophe

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NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 02: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers makes a save in opposition to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Sq. Backyard on January 2, 2019 in New York Metropolis. (Picture by Jared Silber/NHLI through Getty Pictures)

Though success was fleeting for the New York Rangers in the course of the first 40 video games of the season, when it did come, it was a results of the goaltending.

Any time a as soon as nice workforce begins to say no, it stems from the getting old course of and gamers leaving in free company. In some instances, the workforce’s finest participant is ready to defy father time for longer than anticipated however they’re nonetheless not on the stage they used to play at. Within the case of the New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist remains to be superb, however can’t be relied on to win video games each night time.

There was an expectation that there can be a battle this season for the Rangers. The roster in entrance of the netminder was going to be the worst in an extended whereas, however the youth and tradition change was speculated to at the very least function a distraction if the wins didn’t comply with.

This isn’t to say that Lundqvist and his backup, Alexandar Georgiev have performed particularly dangerous. It’s onerous to be an efficient goaltender while you’re continually beneath barrage from the opposite workforce. New York’s skaters have dangerous puck possession and battle to keep up their defensive zones. When zones breakdown in protection, the entire system turns into compromised.

The workforce is 15-6-2 when both of the workforce’s goaltenders has a save share above 92 p.c however are 2-9-5 when it’s under the NHL common of .909. That’s such a pointy drop off in closing workforce efficiency based mostly on a single participant, that it’d be not possible to maintain over the course of a complete season until Lundqvist was 25 once more.

There have been factors early on in his profession that the Swede was in a position to stand on his head three straight nights through which the workforce in entrance of him may scrape out three objectives and discover a approach to win. Now, the gathering of expertise in entrance of him wants the identical stage of play however from a quickly to be 37-year-old.

There’s a critical argument that Lundqvist persevering with to hover round a .920 save share is the one factor holding the Rangers away from being a backside three workforce in the complete league.

As Lundqvist’s efficiency in opposition to the Colorado Avalanche on January 4th was a textbook instance of what occurs when an getting old goaltender is relied on an excessive amount of. The Swede was rolled out for his third straight begin and the Rangers didn’t have even the slightest likelihood of profitable.

If the Rangers’ entrance workplace is critical about transitioning to a long-range focus, it’s crucial that Georgiev get extra taking part in time down the stretch to get Lundqvist snug with the truth that he can’t begin three straight video games anymore with no noticeable drop off in play.

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Provided that the entrance workplace anticipated to battle this season, it’s not an excessive amount of of a shock to really see it occur on the ice. However, with a lot hinging on the efficiency of Lundqvist and Georgiev, it will not be a suprise to see extra blowouts just like the 6-1 loss to the Avalanche within the second half of the season.

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