At 32 years old Henrik Lundqvist is gradually exiting the prime of his career. The Swedish netminder finished last season with a .920 save percentage, a Silver Medal in the Olympics, and his first ever Stanley Cup berth. Following up on a season with so much potential yet so much disappointment, Lundqvist found himself off to his typical slow start this season with a .891 save percentage through the first month of play and a .911% through two months. However, since then Lundqvist has been outstanding, helping the Rangers to compete in the Metropolitan Division,
Lundqvist currently boasts a .920 save percentage, which is even with last season's number, but looking closely at his play uncovers a truly terrific season. While getting off to his usual slow start did Henrik no favors, Lundqvist has been fantastic since finishing up his games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who had his number this season. With only one sub-.900 save percentage game since December 2nd, Lundqvist has kept the Blueshirts in games consistently, while stealing some games in the process. In fact, if you don't include games against the Lightning, there has been only one sub-.900 save percentage game since November 6th for Lundqvist.
While the Lightning cannot and should not be removed from the statistics, the numbers showing how good Lundqvist has been against other teams since his early season struggles are staggering. Since November 17th, the Lightning scored 14 goals in 3 games on Lundqvist, while the rest of the NHL scored 27 goals in 18 games. That's a 4.67 goals against average against a 1.50 GAA.
In addition to his impressive numbers against the NHL in general, Lundqvist has actually managed to play better against top competition than the bottom feeders of the league. His .914 save percentage against teams currently out of the playoffs is not impressive, but a .924% vs. current playoff teams is impressive. To put the number in context, let's take a look at the Metropolitan Division goaltenders compared to Hank:
New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist- .924%
Pittsburgh Penguins, Marc-Andre Fleury- .912%
Washington Capitals, Braden Holtby- .911%
New York Islanders, Jaroslav Halak- .907%.
The future is bright this season for Lundqvist and the Rangers, and the All-Star break should serve as a welcomed relaxation period for the star in the crease. While Lundqvist was not originally selected for the game, rumor has it the league did not select him as a replacement because he spoke openly about wanting a break after a busy first half. After taking on the Senators, Lundqvist will get that break, then onto a matchup with huge implications against the division leading New York Islanders. The Rangers and Lundqvist have struggled against their in-state rivals this season, but with Henrik Lundqvist in net confidence levels should still be sky high.