Guest blogger: Patrick Hoffman

96

Lundqvist: The New Richter?

Since the offseason began, it seems that New York Rangers pundits and fans alike have focused on the following topics and questions: line combinations; prospects; who is going to be the club’s No.1 center?; how will Marian Gaborik play in his first season on Broadway?; what will head coach John Tortorella be like for a full season?
   While these topics are great fodder around the water cooler and for countless numbers of Ranger blogs, I would like to go in a different direction and may be spark a debate with the following question: Is Henrik Lundqvist the new Mike Richter?
    It’s a question that has probably been going through Blueshirt fans’ minds ever since the “King” burst onto the scene in 2005-06 and had one heck of a rookie season in posting 30 wins, 2 shutouts, a 2.24 goals against average and a .922 save percentage, good enough to place him among the finalists for the Vezina Trophy Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, something he would also do in 2007 and 2008.
   The following seasons, Lundqvist consistently put up good numbers, got his club into the playoffs, won a few playoff rounds and won the hearts of Ranger fans, bringing his chant to tri-state area locales such as the Nassau Veterans Coliseum (a.k.a. the Mausoleum) and the Prudential Center (a.k.a. MSG 2). And not only has he won the hearts of the fans due to his on-ice play, but he’s won it due to his contributions off the ice with his charitable work for organizations such as the Garden of Dreams.
   Doesn’t this come close to sounding like another star Broadway athlete that played between the pipes on Broadway for many years, one that put up solid numbers on more than a few sub-par clubs, won a Stanley Cup with a nearly perfect team, did a ton of charity work and was an all-around good guy? In my eyes, and may be yours, right now at least, Henrik Lundqvist is almost equivalent to the all-time winningest goaltender in Rangers’ history that starred for the Blueshirts for 14 seasons.
   So, you might ask, what’s the debate here? Well, for one thing, there is on-ice play. In his 14 years in the National Hockey League, Richter put up pretty solid numbers, especially considering the fact that he played on several non-playoff teams (1998-2003):

Regular Season
     301 wins
     24 shutouts
     2.89 goals against average
     .904 save percentage

Playoffs
     Stanley Cup in 1994
     41 wins
     9 shutouts
     2.68 goals against average
     .909 save percentage

Other
     Played in the 1992 All-Star Game in Philadelphia
     1994 All-Star Game MVP at Madison Square Garden
     1996 World Cup Champion and MVP
     Played in the 2000 All-Star Game in Toronto
     2002 Winter Olympics Silver Medal
     Member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
     Has number up in the rafters at Madison Square Garden

Obviously, pretty impressive numbers over a career that may end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame one day. On the other side, you look at Lundqvist and see that he has posted stellar numbers in his first four seasons in the NHL:
Regular Season
     142 wins
     21 shutouts
     2.31 goals against average
     .917 save percentage

Playoffs
     14 wins
     16 losses
     2.66 goals against average
     .907 save percentage

Other
     Won the 2002 Gold Medal as the goaltender for Sweden in the Inline Hockey World Championships (Interesting, right?)
     2006 Olympic Gold Medal with Sweden
     Named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 2006
     Finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in 2006, 2007 and 2008
     Played in 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal

   As you can tell, Lundqvist has done a lot in his first four seasons between the pipes for the Blueshirts and chances are is that he will continue to have success. However, will he be as successful as Mike Richter and lead them to a Stanley Cup like Richter did back in 1994?
   More importantly, is Henrik Lundqvist the new Mike Richter on Broadway?
   I’d like to say a big thank you to Rick Carpiniello for allowing me to post here and hope that I will get another chance to do it during the season. You can also visit my blog over at Kukla’s Korner.

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96 Comments

  1. Interesting comp but until Henrik takes this team on his back and wins a Cup, he will never measure up to Richter. Richy was one of the most clutch netminders. Not just talking 94 either but the World Cup and the stupendous display versus the Devils.

    It’s such ashame they screwed up the team bc there’s no telling how many more games he could have won.

  2. I agree and disagree here. It is too early to compare Lundy to Richter. First off, Richter is a SC winning netminder, a borderline HOF’er (if injuries did not shorten his career he would be) and Richter’s number are worse because of the era he played in as well, plus some of the teams were aby$mal.

    Get back to us on this in about 5 years. Good write up!

  3. No Country For Old Rangers on

    Hank will eclipse Richter statistically in about 5 years if he stays healthy.

    Whether he’ll take us to the cup obviously remains to be seen. He’s a big game goalie but Drury is not exactly Mess and Redden is not exactly Leetch.

  4. keep in mind about 1/4 of those wins by lundqvist are from a shootout…those “wins” will always be skewed when compared to Richter…35 would have probably won 50 more games in his career because of the shootout…he was lights out on breakaways…

    It’s funny you compare them because they have completely different styles…Lundqvist is way back in the net and all about being in the right position while Richter would challenge shooters more at the top of the crease and was definitely more acrobatic…

    Richter played for some pretty crappy teams…put Richter on a team with Jagr rather than Petr Nedved and his Czechmates and he’d win 30 games in his sleep…Nedved was our #1 center…now those were some dark days…

  5. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Harvey20
    August 29th, 2009 at 1:46 amNedved was our #1 center…now those were some dark days…

    And the only thing sadder is having Chris Drury as your #1 center! LoL

  6. Richter’s weakness in net was the team in front of him. Hank’s is top shelf catching glove side. Hank may be good in the shootout but, on a break away during a game he gets scored on an awful lot.

  7. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I never really thought about Hank’s history with penalty shots so I figured I’d discuss it…

    Stopped penalty shot (Jordan Staal), November 25, 2006 [overtime].
    Allowed penalty shot goal (Nils Ekman), December 7, 2006.
    Stopped penalty shot (Marian Hossa), January 20, 2007.
    Stopped penalty shot (Jordan Staal), October 23, 2007.
    Allowed penalty shot goal (Vincent Lecavalier), October 29, 2007.
    Allowed penalty shot goal (Sergei Kostsitsyn), February 3, 2008.
    Stopped penalty shot (John Madden), April 18, 2008 [postseason].
    Stopped penalty shot (Evgeni Malkin), May 1, 2008 [postseason].
    Stopped penalty shot (Sidney Crosby), January 18, 2009.

    66% isn’t what you’d want to see from a guy who usually stops 75-85% in the shootout. *However,* what I like is that he stopped the OT chance against Staal, and he stopped chances from Crosby, Hossa, and two post-season chances by Madden and MALKIN! Again, it’s not stellar but it’s far from pitiful too.

  8. With Tortorella’s new run and gun style, Lundquist will probably get a reduced work load and will play less games per season that Richter did. There is no way he can play 70+ games with that kind of game.

  9. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    Great Post Patrick..
    Goalies are a lot like Qb’s and pitchers.
    Some are average like Osgood but have a handful of Rings, some are great and never win a cup.Ed Giacomin was a great goalie but never won.

    I think Hank is technically better than Richter , but Richter was quicker on and off his skates around the net.
    Richter had a better team around him for a lot of years than does Hank,but I think Richter was better than 301 wins.
    He played on some average teams towards the end of his career.

    The only fault I have with Richter and leetch is that (and it’s my pet peeve), they should have left NY earlier and sought out teams competing for the cup, their careers would have benefited from a move in playoffs stats and winning another cup and the rangers would have benefited by getting players in return.
    If Hank wants to win a Cup sometime in his career he may have to consider moving on if things don’t work out here in the near future.Why be a Ranger for life without a Cup?

  10. Short answer- no. His numbers will probably be better. And he is clearly capable of winning a Cup. But first, he needs to win it for us. Even if he does, remember that Richter ended “1940” for this city. And, most importantly, Mike is in our hearts along with Mess, Graves and Leetch. And that is an impossible company to repeat.

  11. Great Post Patrick!
    I think Hank is the next great Rangers goaltender. Will he be on par with Richter…yes if he wins a Cup in NY.

  12. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    Patrick, you must be a goalie yourself to make this your guest blogger topic. No doubt in my mind you are.

    Like what the others have said…until he wins a Stanley Cup, his Olympic gold and world championships will fall short of Richter. But after he wins a cup, he will easily surpass Richter.

  13. Well, this has already become an interesting blog entry because it reveals that most people seem to believe that the defining characteristic is winning a Stanley Cup. I agree that makes a fair amount of sense. Also with respect to the shootouts giving Hank more wins. By the same token, Hank at his current pace will surpass Richter for wins in 10 seasons (Richter took 14) and if Hank keeps up that pace – which I admit seems unlikely – he would be up near 500 wins. And in terms of shutouts, he’s almost already equal to Hank. Furthermore, it is not at all clear how good or bad the last four teams were – Hank unquestionably did carry these last 4 teams to much of their success. I think if you put a really solid team in front of Hank, there would be multiple Cups. And I think the team in front of Richter in 1994 was much better than anything they’ve iced in front of Hank. Think the Red Wings would ever even lose a game if Hank was their goalie?

  14. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Peter makes a great point. We all are saying the Rangers teams from 98 on were awful and that these last 4 seasons the Rangers teams have been better (because they have made the playoffs).

    Leading me to the question, would Richter have gotten the Rangers to the playoffs if he played these past 4 seasons? I’m not convinced he would have. I am also not convinced that the reason the Rangers didn’t make the playoffs after 97 wasn’t in part Richter’s fault. He played well in 99 but between and after he wasn’t remarkable. I just wonder if Hank would have gotten one, or a few, of those teams into the playoffs? Point being, separating a team’s success from the goalie’s performance is extremely difficult when the team’s success is based on the goalie’s SV%.

  15. Good morning all and have a crease clearing hard hitting physical d man day!!! I, on the other hand, am off to work!

  16. Great job, Patrick.

    Yes, Patrick is a goalie.

    Wicky, no physical d-man yet?

    Richter was 11 of 12 in his career on penalty shots (plus 1-or-1 in preseason), including a couple in the playoffs. You might remember one of those penalty shots. Does anybody remember which Islander he stopped on a playoff penalty shot? He also stopped one in his first regular-season NHL game. Remember that one?

    And, do you know which player beat him on a penalty shot?

    Good morning, Sally!

  17. Patrick-great post, tks for a different angle this am, i thought u were really going to go with this blog’s favorite topic of the summer – Brashear vs Orr!!!!

    Henriiiiiikkkkkkkkk HenrikkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkHenriikkkkkkkkkkkkk

    LETS GO RANGERS

  18. I used to look at Richter’s stat’s weekly during most of his career and with the exception of a few seasons he was in the bottom 3rd of gaoltenders league wide with the backup
    goaltenders. He could be counted on in clutch situations. His stat’s during the cup year were good but the team defense had alot to do with it. Don’t get me wrong I liked Richter alot but he is not HOF material.

  19. I think we’re all giving Hank more credit than he deserves so early in his career. He’s a stellar player and I love to watch him play. But, if you look carefully, you can see that he has not had a single consistent season where he didn’t fade or collapse for a long stretch of time. He doesn’t seem mature enough yet to recognize his own exhaustion or to allow others to protect him and his often weak mental game.

    If he can toughen up, and play a full season at the same level (even if it means less games), than he may become the great keeper this club needs.

    In my opinion.

  20. good post.
    nice to find something else to discuss.

    my worry is will Henrik become the next Richter
    in that he has to carry the team year after year
    and ends up trying to do too much
    which can either lead to injury and/or burnout.

    i’m hoping that Tortorella’s system will get some of the pressure off of Henrik, that he won’t have to win 2-1 or 1-0 games as much and that the puck won’t be in our zone as much.

  21. true- youre right. in 05-06, we had jagr. that was pretty much our offense. and a surprise in prucha. hank played great and i dont think rickter wouldve gotten us that far. the thing about the both of them though is the circumstances. richter was an awesome goalie for a time but wasnt as good stats wise. and you can even say the new rules have made it harder for goalies because you cant grab guys anymore, andinterfere. plus we havent had beukeboom or anyone like him since. alot of things can go into it. i think all that stuff is great at comparing them stats wise, but the main thing that will keep richter above hank is not only the cup, but being the goalie that won us the cup after 54 years. its more dramatic and adds to his legacy so much more than other goalies. if hank won us the cup, no doubt he would be a hero and wed love him just as much, maybe more than richter. but at the time, theres no comparison to what richter did in that cup run. i dont know if hank has the guys in front of him to make a run like that while hes in his prime. you put a messier in his prime, and aleetch instead of redden, id put money on them winning more than 1 cup with hank in net. or, just put hank on the 94 team and the following seasons. i think we at least get 1 more cup.

  22. i think hank will actually have to work harder jpg. yes, the puck will be in the other end more and we will score more goals, but with run n gun, theres gonna bne double the odd man rushes and the flow will be back n forth. with our d
    (besides staal and girardi), its gonna be harder for hank. but all i know is when watching the caps series, he definitely can handle a run n gun back n forth game. watchin him stop ovie and semin over and over again was awesome. it also reminded me of richter makin saves on bure from 94

  23. and no country said it best, when he said drury is no messier and redden is no leetch. that right there is it in a nutshell. when richter had those guys in front of him, he played great. you put drury and a washed up redden in front of richter, do they even make the playoffs?

  24. oh and truefans- i was jokin about the”where are they now” blog. lol. but i know youre buddies beer me and li joe are over at zips blog. what happened to your posse? wd40, ford??

  25. CCCP
    August 28th, 2009 at 8:59 pm
    off topic

    What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

    lmao cccp. i think it would cause a glitch in the matrix. the code will go all fuzzy for awhile, but then agent smith would just morph into them both. and then he comes after you

  26. From all those comments it sounds like we are talking apples and oranges. Different times, different games, different teams, different styles. Again, Richter is in our hearts together with Mess, Leech and Graves. Tough to match. I think Richter should be in HOF for what he did for team USA.

  27. Hank will statistically beat Richter, and in my opinion will have Hall Of Fame numbers, if he stays healthy, like someone already mentioned.

    Wont mean d*ck, if he doesn’t guide the team to a fuggin Cup.

    And Hank in the playoffs has been up and down. He had the injury in 06. In 07, he was great, but the Sabs busted through the D, but he kept the team on his shoulders, but fell apart in the final game at the Garden giving up 5 or 6 goals. And 08 he was amazing, but the team never backed him up in the Pens series, and the refs screwed them out of the series. Last season, he was God, then he played like the Devil, AKA Marty Broduer in 2008 against us, non stop rapage, couldn’t get a win to save his daughters virginity. And Hank blew the series, along with the rest of the dopes that couldn’t help out.

    Point being, it doesn’t mater if Hank is better than Richter, and becomes a better goalie, a HOF’er, cause Richter has that one Cup, and one Cup is better than none at all. Hank needs to step it up.

    Better yet, Vally needs to step it up this season, and win games for Hank, and help him rest for the playoffs, especially down the stretch. And the team needs to back them up.

    Ugh, i long for the days of Jags, Shanny, Straks, Nyls, Cullen, etc. That whole 2007 team was great, i still shed a tear every time i think how it ends. 7.7 seconds. In the classic words of Joe Pecsi in Casino, you muddah fugger you ! Every time i see Dreary’s face, that’s what i say.

  28. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Orr, do you really think Hank “blew the series” last year? I see a 4th year goalie who had a .908 SV% against the best offensive team in the NHL. I see a goalie who forced a game 7 and nearly won it on his own even though the Rangers were predicted to go out in 5 (or fewer). He didn’t have great game 5’s or 6’s, but remember the team wasn’t good either. Game 5 Avery was sat and game 6 Torterella was suspended so the entire team had their issues.

    I agree that Richter stands out because he won the cup that year, but you guys are forgetting so many differences between the team Richter had and the team Hank has. In ’94, not only did Richter have Leetch (79 points) and Messier, he also had Zubov (who led all Rangers with 89 points), and 7 guys who scored 20 or more goals (including Kovalev and Larmer).

    I see Richter’s “greatness” as a product of: 1) ending the cup drought (mostly) and 2) the great talent that was on that team. Richter had a great year, but he didn’t win that cup on his own. And that is the sole difference. Lundqvist is basically doing this by himself. He had Jagr for 3 seasons, but there ain’t a Messier, Leetch, or Zubov helping out.

  29. TRUE FANS

    Yeah, i really do think Hank blew the series and i could be mistaken but i think Torts realized this too. Hank was perfect, then he died. The best offensive team in the league never showed up, Ovechkin wasn’t even a factor in the series, and it was really Semin who did the damage. I agree the team had their issues, and the blame doesn’t fall on just Hank, but it’s just strange that he went from being so amazing, to giving up soft goals left and right.

    That’s why i say Vally needs to step up, and take some of the pressure off Hank’s shoulders during the season. Look at Martina, he can have career years every year, but when the playoffs come, what has he done, especially the last two years ? He hasn’t shown up, but look at his age, compared to Hank.

    Just my opinion, though.

  30. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Orr, it’s funny how we remember the same series differently. I seem to recall Ovech trying everything he’s ever known or tried, but Hank standing on his head. Ovechkin had 7 points in 7 games including 3 goals and a lot of primary assists. He also had 13 shots in game 1! That’s unheard of. He then had 6, 5, 11, 3, 6, 5 through the end of the series.

    I actually think what you’re remembering as Ovechkin as a non-factor is a mix of a couple things. Ovechkin had primary assists in games 1 and 3 (to Semin and other players). Ovechkin was also completely shut-down by Lundqvist.

    So while it doesn’t seem like Ovechkin was a factor, that’s actually a credit to Lundqvist (esp if Ovie had 13 shots!). Game 5, Hank was off. No doubt. But again, the team was off and got shut-out with the whole Torterella, Avery, drama.

  31. TRUE FANS

    Actually that came out wrong, what i meant it to mean is what you said, that Hank shut him down, not that OV did nothing for the team. My fault. But he did break down once we had that 3-1 lead, he never showed up again, along with the team. Then he played amazing in game 7, making great saves, but gave up a terrible goal in the final few minutes, with help from Dredden.

  32. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Yea man, the “what ifs” could haunt this team for a long…. LONG…. time!

    What if Avery isn’t sat game 5?! Do the Rangers just take the series 4-1? Maybe! We all know the ridiculous win loss record with him in the lineup, maybe there is something to it? What if the league doesn’t have this drama of Staal and Girardi being gay and Torterella suspended for water bottles he couldn’t hold on to? A game 6 win? I don’t know. I have watched the game 7 goal many times and I can’t really blame Lundqvist for it. He was screened by Redden and you have a veteran player scoring another clutch (drury fans, notice use the accurate application of the term) playoff goal. It was a pretty good shot. I want Hank to have that goal, I really do. But I also know that the Rangers are not going to beat the Capitals 1-0 in a game 7.

    The what if’s continue though… 2005, what if Hank and crew (Rucinsky, Strak, Jagr with separated shoulder perhaps due to too many games) don’t all get injured? What if Aaron Ward never gets traded away? Ahhh… all these what ifs. haha

  33. Ever since Nyr got back into the playoff scene each year gets worse, and you think the next year cant get any worse. in 06, after an amazing year, we get swept by the Devils. Then in 07, we are down 0-2 in the semis, and tie it up in dramatic fashion, and nearly take a 1-0 win over the Sabs in their house, going back to the Garden where we are undefeated, but we blow it, due to a stupid icing by Nylander i think it was. Then Dreary ties it up with 7 secs left, and Afinagenov wins it in OT, after we fail to score on a PP. Then 08, we blow a 3-0 lead in game 1, then get screwed in the final minute with a classic Crosby dive, then we get screwed out of game 2 with that non goal, then Hollweg screws us after Jagr got us back into the game, and we eventually lose in OT in game 5, then last year, blowing a 3-1 lead against the Craps.

    So depressing. Im scared to find out what happens this season. Blowing a 3-0 lead ? Blowing a 5-0 lead in game 7 ? Giving up the tying goal with 0.1 secs left in game 7 of the Cup finals, and losing in OT ?

    I hate it !

  34. On the game winning goal by Federov you cannot really blame redden or hank….i think redden played pretty good D there and obviously he screened hank a lil but it was top shelf by a Hall of Famer and i did not go to bed blaming hank or redden…..hopefully hank does have less pressure maybe just maybe we can win a few games 5-1, 4-0, etc…..we shall see 2 weeks to go people i cannot wait much longer!

  35. SETH

    Actually the more i think of it, Hank might feel more pressure, since he’ll have a baby defense in front of him. A lot of young ones on the team, unless something happens. Hopefully they step up, and all play great.

    As for scoring. Who knows what’s gonna happen, cant wait till camp opens, i wanna see who plays with who.

  36. Carp

    Nope, of course not…. it’s killing me!!!

    I think Hank’s first season (when he always cleared the rebounds or deflected the shots to the corners) and the 10 SO seasons were by far his best. The other two were just above avg in my opinion. So if my thought process serves me correct, he should be due for a great season this year. He plays too deep in his net now!

  37. Hank would probably feel more comfortable and play alot better if he had a big physical crease clearing hard hitting d man or two in front of him. I’m just saying!!!!!

  38. ORR-

    fair point – i cannot argue with you there….with the up tempo style torts will demand and the 5th and 6th defensive spots wide open we might see a whole bunch of odd man rushes/breakaways against hank….

    speaking of Torts can you imagine if torts was the coach in Chicago in the game in January when i think we were down 6 or 7 times on the 5-3……sticks would defnitely be thrown out onto the ice and he would have had a nice hefty fine to play….or what about the game in dallas when we managed to give up a TD and a FG!!!!!, oh man that locker room would have been priceless to be in after that whipping…

  39. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I think Hank is an enigma himself, but because he is it tarnishes his overall reputation and undeservedly so.

    Hank’s worst season is a .912 SV% and most goalies would consider that a career year.

    So how is Hank undeservedly under-rated? Well, he starts most seasons stopping 93-94% of the shots (.93-.94 SV%) and then he goes into a .900 mode and then usually finishes with the .94 again. It seems like that .900 is Hank playing poorly, and for Hank he is. However, Richter made a CAREER out of .900 SV% seasons and the fact that Lundqvist still finishes seasons with .916 and .917 SV% is a marvel.

    If this guy played 65 games the same way he started and finished the season he would win the Vezina, there really is very little doubt about that. That being said, he still is probably the #3, if not #2 best goaltender in the NHL right now.

  40. another good topic, nice job Patrick. As many of you have stated, Richter, in winning a Cup, had an incredible team in front of him. I may be in the minority, but I felt he should have won the Conn Smythe. If Hank ever gets a team like that in front of him, it could possibly mean another Cup, and we’d all be happy with that!

    on a side note… Did any of you catch the new Captain Morgans commercial. The guy is called “CAPTAIN CLUTCH”. Holy crap I almost fell outta the chair when I saw that! Maybe that’s what drury needs, a lil captain in him!

  41. paulieplatypus on

    Just a side thought I had after reading the posting of the Lundqvist vs Richter comparison. How do both compare with the devil Martin Brodeur? No doubt Brodeur is a HOF goaltender and one of the best to have ever played the game of hockey… But over the cource of his career, did the Rangers have better goaltending than the Devils? With Ricter being in his prime when Brodure was in his rookie years and now with Lundqvist out playing and winning just about every game head to head vs Devils netminder. I personally believe the Rangers had/have the better goaltending, am I way off base?

  42. SETH

    Lol, that game would have been great to watch. Torts would have been thrown out after the 2nd 5 on 3. I still cant believe we won that game. I think it was a Dreary OT game winner on the PP, deflecting Dredden’s shot.

    But that game against the Stars was a low point of the season. Unbelievably embarrassing. Hopefully we never have to witness a game like that again.

  43. bull dog line on

    this will sound like I am knocking Lundquist, but I am just defending Richter.
    This comparison is not as close as the Ludquist fans out there think it is. besides 94, you all forget about 97, when he carried them to the conference final, the world cup gold, and the olympic silver. Both of these tournaments he threw the USA on his back. Lundquist has had the benefit of the trap, and 5 in the picture, a defensive minded coach in Renney. In a big game, there is no doubt who I would take, Richter.

  44. a quick comment on a couple posts:

    <>

    true. i meant to mention that happening but did not.
    but, here’s the thing.
    if Henrik plays up to his Vezina nominated self that should not be a problem. now, yes, if the run-n-gun goes ape**** and we’re caught numerous times in just one period. that’s, obviously, not going to turn out well and i don’t expect Henrik to stop EVERYTHING.
    but
    and this is what concerns me about Henrik, he goes through streaks where he’s all-world and then he goes through streaks where he’s just fair.
    now
    i know a player can go through down times but i just recall some portions of the season where he just didn’t seem into the game with routine saves and/or with bad positioning that happened a number of games in a row.

    with that said,
    i agree with ORR that Valley needs to be used a bit more in order to give Henrik periodic rest; not just for his physical self but mentally as well.

  45. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    the world cup gold, and the olympic silver. Both of these tournaments he threw the USA on his back. Lundquist has had the benefit of the trap, and 5 in the picture, a defensive minded coach in Renney. In a big game, there is no doubt who I would take, Richter.
    ………….

    No one has forgotten about that! Olympic Gold, that’s what Lundqvist earned as a rookie. 3 Vezina nominations. And Richter had the benefit of: clutching and grabbing, HUGE dman (Beukeboom) who could absolutely hammer a guy without penalty, all the hooking and stick fouls that are now outlawed, and hey good defensmen didn’t hurt either.

    Renney got progressively more defensive as his tenure wore on/thin. Jagr had 122 points one year, he wasn’t playing defense. Believe it, or not, the reason the Rangers switched to a more defensive style as the years wore on was because the defensive corps seemed to get worse each season. Last year may have been the worst in awhile so to say that the Renney “defensive style” helped Lundqvist may be an over-statement. If anything, I think Lundqvist and the Renney style were both saving the bacon of this current roster’s defensmen.

  46. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Concerning the last post, obviously the amount of time Renney had his forwards investing into defense was eventually surpassed by their loss of time in the offensive zone (and thus enhanced impotency when it came to scoring).

    Obviously, each squad, based on its talent, has a good balance of offense to defense in terms of amount of time/effort invested in each zone. Renney lost sight of that and couldn’t figure out that when the Rangers started the season 16-4 and whatever it was because they were forechecking hard! (and because Dubi and Zherdev were together and awesome). But the team wasn’t winning becuase they were backchecking hard! And so as Renney’s system evolved to a more defensive approach, notice, it actually didn’t help Lundqvist. It hurt him. The puck was in the Rangers zone a lot more and the team was scoring a lot less.

  47. Orr-from the chicago game i just remember Renney standing on the bench and chewing his gum harder and harder and then his sarcastic smile that is what really irked me, i think Toews finally tied up the game and the smile on Renney’s face made me go ape sh–!….Dreay did end up tipping in a wrist shot by Redden and we obtained the two points we deserved-i thought we were going to get hot after that solid road win-boy did that turn out wrong…i think the next road win was Avery’s first game back in Long Island!!!!!! ugg i was just in a card store with my fiance and i ended up buying the hockey news and they predict the rangers in 13th place…..if gabroik is healthy and anisimov jolts the offense they bump the rangers to 10th and if hank gets hurt they have the rangers 15th!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Olga Folkyerself on

    The Rangers will NEVER win a Cup as long as Sather the Decrepit and Dopey Dolan are running things at MSG.

    Sorry Hank. It won’t be your fault… Stogypuss is just not supplying the players to support you.

  49. Anybody play the NHL 10 demo for PS3, it came out yesterday, it’s pretty cool, and feels totally different. The passing is a bit harder, or maybe im not used to the controls yet since i haven’t played 09 in a long time.

    And i got drafted 13th overall by the Canes !!! Boooo !!! Oh well, gimme my money, buuuitch !

  50. dave karpa meets igor ulanov on

    lundqvist isn’t as acrobatic as richter, but he’s probably a little bit more consistent.

    both of them have played on some really bad teams that would have been much worse without their stellar play.

    it bothers me when people occasionally complain about hank. i don’t think they realize that without him, we’d be revisiting the kirk mcleans, jason labarberas, mike dunhams, and kevin weekes of the world.

  51. This is a tough comparison to make so early in the career of Hank. But one thing I noticed on this post is that many of you look past alot when you add in “Stanley Cup Winning” to the mix. Truth be told, I liked Richter alot, but I believe that Cup should have been Beezer’s. They cast aside the better goalie and he proved that by taking a lesser team to the finals in 96 and also putting up better GAA and Save Percentage with Florda in 94 than Richter but Richter won the cup.
    As for the comparison though, let’s see how Hank looks after this season. He excelled in Renney’s defense first system…… we will see what he is made of after a full season of Tort’s aggressive style.

  52. orr- you got drafted?? wtf? in be a pro mode you get drafted too?? wow thats cool. i already reserved my copy at gamestop. it comes out the 14th. im not playin the demo yet. i dont wanna be teased.

  53. but, we will score more goals so even if hank doesnt have his best season, we shouldnt have to rely on him as much. we’ll be able to play without having to play catchup all the time. a full 60 minute effort unlike last year because rennys style had them out of shape. we all wondered why they couldnt play a full game all out. well, they will now and theres no excuse for it if they dont.

  54. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Mike(Grabachev)in IA
    August 29th, 2009 at 5:24 pm
    yea, and they had us dead last in 05-06, so predictions mean squat to me
    ……………….

    Another testament to a team of 3 players:
    Jagr, Lundqvist, Prucha.

  55. True Fans-

    Yeah 13th! i mean they are like if hank gets hurt and gaborik gets hurts we are in trouble! TKS EINSTEIN!!!!!! great assumption there-whatever i think i like our chances in the atlantic i mean besides pittsburgh i know philly is talented but with Emery in goal they could be in trouble, i think we will fight with the flyers for 2nd in the atlantic and the team that finishes third will be a 6-7-8 seed again, i truly think the devils might finally miss the playoffs this year-hopefully that happens-whooooooooooooos drinking if that happens!

  56. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I thought last year might be the year they miss the playoffs! Geez, these devils cannot go away… I will say that had the Devs just missed the playoffs, we would have never had the opportunity to *THINK* Carolina was going to lose just to (for me) run home and find out they won the series in the final 90 seconds! Woohoo! One of the non-Rangers moments hilights of last year.

    My concern with the atlantic is that the Rangers will probably get fewer points out of the Islanders and that may create problems. We NEED those points.

  57. oh man that was classic, that numbed the ranger pain a lil….i was waiting for a ranger 60 second review of the season before shutting off MSG only to turn on the finale of the devils season-watching the fans at the Rock then the interview with Elias defnitely helped numb the pain!!!!!!

    True-I hear ya but we are always decent within the division-we gotta find a way to steal some points in Pittsburgh….we cannot throw away points against florida and ottawa etc-we always have trouble with those two at home…..

  58. reposting because the section i thought i quoted didn’t appear. hopefully, it works this time.

    earlier
    Mike(Grabachev)in IA wrote

    “i think hank will actually have to work harder jpg. yes, the puck will be in the other end more and we will score more goals, but with run n gun, theres gonna bne double the odd man rushes and the flow will be back n forth. with our d”

    i replied:

    true. i meant to mention that happening but did not.
    but, here’s the thing.
    if Henrik plays up to his Vezina nominated self that should not be a problem. now, yes, if the run-n-gun goes ape**** and we’re caught numerous times in just one period. that’s, obviously, not going to turn out well and i don’t expect Henrik to stop EVERYTHING.
    but
    and this is what concerns me about Henrik, he goes through streaks where he’s all-world and then he goes through streaks where he’s just fair.
    now
    i know a player can go through down times but i just recall some portions of the season where he just didn’t seem into the game with routine saves and/or with bad positioning that happened a number of games in a row.
    with that said,
    i agree with ORR that Valley needs to be used a bit more in order to give Henrik periodic rest; not just for his physical self but mentally as well.

  59. bull dog line on

    Lets see Lundquist get out of the 2nd round before we put him in the Hall of Fame.

  60. bull dog line on

    Beezer being better than Richter. Is that the same Beezer that Richter smoked in 97 playoffs.

  61. bull dog, i agree. I think Hank’s terrific, and he almost stole the Washington series in April, and he’s a wonderful person, but he’s won exactly two playoff series in his career, right?

    Beezer was pretty good for a decent stretch of years, and excellent for one year. Richter was better for his career.

    Somebody mentioned Eddie Giacomin earlier. He’s in the Hall without a Cup, but the only reason he didn’t win a Cup was No. 4 on Boston.

    Good night, Sally!

  62. Hey kids! Good post by Mr. Hoffman (any relation to Doctor Albert Hofmann? i know the last name is spelled different, but i just had to ask)

    Dont know if it’s fair to compare Mike and Hank. As it was mentioned many times today…different era, different game and definitely different teams. Richter will always be special to us Rangers fans no matter what.

    Hank is the future of this organization. Everything depends on him. I hope he can put a strong season from beginning to end and maybe just maybe go past the second round!

  63. orr- its only 2 weks till it comes out. i actually started a new dynasty a week ago on 09 after i figured the roster was pretty much complete. i even found heikenen in one of the euro leagues as well as ambuhl. i created gilroy, grachev,del zotto, etc.. i traded for boyle, who in the game is actually better than drury. hes got a long reach and hits hard. so if i cant poke check, i just check the guy hard and ive put many of oppenents on IR long term!!

  64. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Carpy:
    I think Hank’s terrific, and he almost stole the Washington series in April, and he’s a wonderful person, but he’s won exactly two playoff series in his career, right?
    …………..

    You and I both know that’s not a fair statement Carp. We’ve disagreed on the comparison of Richter vs. Hank before and just to make it clear, after about age 9, Mike Richter was my FAVORITE player. I bought goalie equipment and started playing the position because of him.

    That said, Carp, at this point in his Career Richter had very few mentionables on his goaltending resume. No olympic medals. He had a vezina nomination (which I believe he shared with Beezer), he made the all-star game in 91-92 and he had just *one* playoff series win in his first 5 seasons! Actually, that one series came in 91-92, and in 92-93 Richter came back and had an awful season! The Rangers failed to make the playoffs altogether and he was an abysmal .886 SV% with an almost 4 GAA. Richter didn’t get himself out of the first round (or more than one series win) until that magic 93-94 season.

    Anyway, it’s a little pre-mature to say Hank’s still unproven because he’s “only won two series, right?” Those two series, an Olympic gold medal, 70+ starts an average season, 3 Vezina nominations, and a career .917 SV% *blow Mike Richter’s stats out of the water from his first 4 seasons.*

  65. Personally I still have some qualms. He still has a tendency to stay on his knees too long after making a save, and especially when they gang up on him. Upper shelf is left wide open and when he falters with the glove it takes a poor shot by opponent for the puck not to go in. Same with sealing the side posts. Let’s wait a bit and see how he does this coming season, and whether he’s taken the task of improving his weaknesses to a degree that is noticeable. One thing in his favor as evidenced from last year to the prior year, was his better command of rebounds. He was vastly improved last season ( although he occasionally give up some beauts), but hey – nobody’s perfect.

  66. true- yes. youre right. the early stages of both careers, hank definitely has better stats and is, imo, the better technical goaltender. if you compare just the players and not include teams, cups, anything else, hank is better. richter has a cup and that will always make him a legend for ranger fans. and it will always be the starting point for any comparisons between him and any other ranger goalie who doesnt or didnt win a cup. i know hank only won 2 playoff rounds. and has had pretty bad slumps through his career, but when it comes down to pure stats, he is better than richter was at the same point in his career. its really not fair to really compare them though. theyre both 2 different players playing in a different era, and with different teammates. its pretty fair to call hank the best goalie the rangers have had since richter and i’ll just leave it at that. and you gotta figure the shootouts helped hanks wins just as much as beukeboom helped richter and so on and so on.

  67. OFF TOPIC

    *SALTY*…FOR YOU

    Check the link in my name…. its music… new release of IM…ill keep the link till Monday…let me know what you think

    (Guys, feel free to check the music out…if you like experimental music (trance/rock)…very innovative stuff)

  68. no doubt both goalies are/were awesome and huge parts of the teams success. whether hank wins a cup or not doesnt make him any better or worse than richter. is max talbot a better player than jeremy roenick? talbot has a cup ring and roenick doesnt. doesnt make him better of a player

  69. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Mike, I agree. But did you mean that Hank is the best goalie in Rangers history since Kevin Weekes and Kevin Weekes was the best goalie in Rangers history since Richter?

    At least that was Tom Renney’s thinking for about 35 games into 2004-05.

  70. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Was Ray Bourque a terrible defensman because he couldn’t win a cup for like 17 years or some ridiculous number?

    … unfortunately, that’s how many here would evaluate Hank.

    I think Bourque was the second best defensmen of the modern era (behind Paul Coffey) and he showed that sometimes, no matter how good you are and how hard you try, you just need the pieces to fall into place FOR YOU. Granted, you play a role in bringing them together, but you can’t build a pyramid with mortar and one stone… it takes many.

  71. Mike

    DJ AM is what i call a “Cheese-J” and not a DJ (may he rest in peace)

    I’m into underground music… and no, i don’t like house music lol

  72. see, i noticed that the gaa. and save pct were kinda bad in the old days. i was watchin top ten goalies of 89, 90, etc.. and alot of the goalies had gaa’s in the 2.6 range. and 900 save pct. nowadays only the worst goalies have those kind of numbers. either the goalies are gettin better, the equipment is bigger, or the league is diluted with less talent than back in those days. i thought goals were supposed to go up with all these new rules. the goalies just seem to get better every year

  73. They’re both Rangers icons and franchise goaltenders but the comparison ends there. End of story.

    Also, I prefer “MSG West” over “MSG 2″ for the Rock.

  74. I’ve been away and don’t know if this was posted already but Directv is fighting with Comcast and not carrying Versus. Not that I’m a fan but 1 month b4 the season starts? It’s like Dolan is running Directv. I went there to get away from him.

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