The 2012-13 NHL season started on January 19, 2013 after the NHLPA and NHL came to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. The season in question was one of Henrik Lundqvist’s best seasons to date, and it could have been even better.
It was frustrating for fans that the season was delayed, but especially for Lundqvist who was coming off his best season to date in which he won his first and only Vezina Trophy. The Rangers saw their previous season end in the Eastern Conference Final vs. the New Jersey Devils, and the franchise was looking to take things to the next level.
In the offseason, the team continued upgrading up front by acquiring Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets, and later on in the year added Derick Brassard in exchange for Marian Gaborik.
Once the season started, Lundqvist posted a record of 24-16-3 with a 2.05 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. The King appeared in 43 of the 48 games the Rangers played and did so under stressful circumstances due to a truncated regular season that lasted just 99 days.
For his efforts Lundqvist finished second in the Vezina vote, losing out to Sergei Bobrovsky of the Blue Jackets. That season “Bob” posted a record of 21-11-6 with a goals against average of 2.00 and a .932 save percentage.
The season is also notable for Lundqvist because by winning only 24 games, his streak of consecutive 30-win seasons was snapped. Lundqvist is the only goaltender in NHL history to record 30 wins or more in each of his first seven seasons, and to date is the only goalie to reach 30 wins in each full season he has played.
When you include the lockout season, Lundqvist is the only goalie in league history to start his career with 12 consecutive seasons of 20-wins or more.
NHL Goalies All-Time Wins Leaders
Hank currently sits 10th overall in NHL history with 405 wins and sits 32 wins behind Jacques Plante who is seventh overall with 437 wins. He should have no problem passing No. 9 Glenn Hall, 407 wins or No. 8 Tony Esposito who has 423 wins.
It is unlikely that Lundqvist will catch up to Martin Brodeur who has 691 wins, but barring a major injury, he has a good chance of becoming only the third goalie to join the 500 win club before he hangs up his skates for good. Roberto Luongo has a chance to do so, but it remains unclear how many games are left in the 38-year-old’s career even though he has five years remaining on his 12-year deal signed in 2009.
Although the season snapped Lundqvist’s streak, in my opinion, it highlights how great Hank is. Goaltending is a position in which consistency is a big point of contention, and Lundqvist has been one of the most consistent performers in the history of the position.It would have been great to see the streak grow and grow, but the snapping of the streak draws more attention to his overall body of work.