The Lundqvist period successfully ends as Carolina eliminates the Rangers
New York legend Henrik Lundqvist was the back-up for the Rangers, who nonetheless could not beat the Canes, even with Igor Shesterkin in web. However goaltending wasn’t the issue for a Rangers crew that wasn’t fairly prepared for primetime.Sebastian Aho scores on Igor Shesterkin|Andre Ringuette through USA TODAY SportsIn the top, ‘The King’ may solely watch from the sidelines. His alternative couldn’t discover a win both, however Carolina’s elimination of the New York Rangers in three straight video games licensed the religious finish of an period for the Blueshirts.
Henrik Lundqvist was not the explanation New York misplaced this collection. However he was the second-best goaltender to Hurricanes stopper Petr Mrazek within the first two video games. The long run as a substitute belongs to Igor Shesterkin – and don’t learn an excessive amount of into the actual fact he himself was the second-best goaltender on the ice in Recreation 3, behind Carolina’s James Reimer, who performed exceptionally properly for the Hurricanes within the sweeping clincher.
For Shesterkin gave New York the most effective probability to outlive and his calm, positionally-sound play helped the Rangers fend off Carolina for the primary a part of the sport. The Russian rookie made some spectacular saves early within the third interval and will under no circumstances be faulted for the dagger, when Sebastian Aho gave the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead by pouncing on a Jacob Trouba turnover earlier than undressing Tony DeAngelo en path to the web.
We will solely speculate if Lundqvist would have fared any higher, however with the groups taking part in on back-to-back days, it solely made sense to go to a wholesome Shesterkin – the younger netminder who had usurped the veteran throughout the common season.
This was the inevitability in New York, as robust because it was to see. Lundqvist had performed 129 straight playoff video games for the Blueshirts and as soon as he retires, his jersey will shoot to the rafters of Madison Sq. Backyard. He’s an iconic Ranger and this ending doesn’t change that.
“A Consummate skilled,” stated left winger Chris Kreider. “Unbelievable human being, unbelievable competitor, the type of man you wish to be within the trenches with. He desires to win greater than anybody I’ve ever met. It’s been an absolute honor and pleasure to get to know him as an individual and as a teammate so long as I’ve. I’ve the utmost respect for Hank.”
Whereas Lundqvist nonetheless has one 12 months left on a contract that comes with an $8.5 million cap hit, this positive does appear to be the top of an period. Shesterkin will undoubtedly be the starter subsequent season as he and a cadre of thrilling younger gamers proceed to seek out their approach with New York. To make sure, this crew has loads of work to do – particularly on the defensive finish – however the future is vivid.
And although the Rangers beat Carolina all 4 instances throughout the common season, this present iteration of the Hurricanes was merely kryptonite for a New York squad that performed “two good intervals out of 9” within the opinion of coach David Quinn.
“They’re structured they usually have been affected person all collection,” stated Rangers middle Mika Zibanejad. “We tried to do an excessive amount of and didn’t actually play as a five-man unit on the market. In the end, they deserved to win the collection.”
Aho’s line with Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov completely carved up the Rangers within the collection, dwarfing the efforts of New York high weapons corresponding to Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin. And whether or not it was the acrobatic flashiness of Mrazek or the hold-the-fort scrambling of Reimer, Carolina obtained glorious goaltending in all three video games.
So the Rangers exit stage left; the primary crew eradicated from the qualifying spherical. In an everyday 12 months they wouldn’t even have had an opportunity on the Stanley Cup, so it’s not a lot of an upset to see them go residence early. However the potential of Lundqvist glowing yet one more time – as he did when he willed the crew to the Cup last approach again in 2014 – was all the time there, as Hollywood because it may need appeared.
Ultimately, his greatest saves couldn’t make up for the few he let in and his crew couldn’t match the execution and self-discipline proven by the Carolina Hurricanes. We’ll see Shesterkin get one other probability to avenge his first NHL playoff loss sooner or later, however this collection may need been it for Lundqvist. Lengthy stay the King.
Tags: carolina hurricanes, ny rangers, stanley cup playoffsConnect: In regards to the AuthorRyan KennedyRyan Kennedy is the affiliate senior author and draft/prospect knowledgeable at The Hockey Information. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all known as his home. He lives in Toronto together with his spouse and youngsters the place he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.