Here is one way to eliminate concerns about alienating your backup goaltender: have that backup goaltender pull up lame during sprints, end up in the trainer’s room, and at least for a little while, take away the question of when you plan to play him next.
It’s funny how these things happen, although maybe it’s not quite as funny to Kevin Weekes. Seeing how Henrik Lundqvist has now started 11 straight games and appeared in 20 straight, I had already planned on addressing the goaltender’s heavy workload when I showed up at the rink today. With back-to-back games against inferior teams coming up on the weekend, one would assume that Weekes might see his first action in more than a month either Saturday or Sunday. But then came sprints today, when Weekes felt something pop in his quadricep, and Lundqvist realized he might just have to keep on going.
But that, according to Lundqvist, is fine. Like the Devils with Martin Brodeur, the Rangers are playing a defensive-minded enough game that their goaltender’s not being taxed as heavily in games.
“When the team’s playing like this and other teams don’t have as many scoring chances, I don’t feel as tired as I did a couple of games before the break,” he said. “Also, when you’re winning, it feels so much easier, I can tell you that.”
No word yet on the severity of Weekes’ quadricep injury, or what the Rangers would do if he’s unavailable as a backup Thursday against Carolina. Complicating matters is that Al Montoya has been contending with knee injuries down in Hartford and Stephen Valiquette would have to go through waivers, so the Rangers might not have a quick solution.
Speaking of complications…
OK, more later..