Mar 20, 2011, 1:16 AM EDT
During the last few years, the New York Rangers have given Henrik Lundqvist a staggering amount of starts for two main reasons: 1) he’s an exceptional goalie and 2) the team rarely has any margin of error, so they cannot play a lesser netminder.
Yet during this off-season, the team made a wise decision by signing an experienced, capable backup in Martin Biron. Biron seemed like the ideal No. 2 in New York; he’s talented enough that he actually started a bit in the league but flawed enough that Lundqvist wouldn’t be worried about a goalie controversy.
Lundqvist still received the majority of starts, but Biron appeared in 17 games (most of which he started, a few in relief when Lundqvist struggled) before he suffered a frightening collar bone injury on the evening after the trade deadline.
Because of that injury and the Rangers’ general tendency to play Lundqvist the majority of time anyway, King Henrik hasn’t missed a start since February 7th. He’s played 16 consecutive games between the pipes, with no sign that he’ll get a breather in the next 10 contests. (Unless, of course, he is sidelined with an injury from Friday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.)
Now, it’s true that the Rangers have dealt with a slew of injuries during the 2010-11 season, with stars such as Marian Gaborik missing time. But Biron’s injury might be one of those subtle losses – and poorly timed ones – that might end up being big blow for the team. The Rangers have been forced to give Lundqvist start after start with Biron on the shelf, which isn’t always a great formula for success in the playoffs.
Even if Lundqvist is healthy enough to play every game, the Rangers might want to consider walking a tightrope between resting him a bit and ensuring their spot in the playoffs. Sure, the extra revenue from a few first round games is great, but if your team has no chance to advance in the postseason, then making the playoffs isn’t nearly as beneficial as it might seem.
So, what do you think? Are the Rangers leaning on their elite goalie too much or should they just throw caution to the wind to protect their spot in the East’s top eight? Let us know in the comments.
- Video: Johnny Hockey puts on a show in Flames win 0
- Video: Red Wings’ fans show support for Gordie Howe 0
- Burrows suspended three games for ‘late hit to the head’ on Emelin 11
- Blues say Center for Disease Control hasn’t been to Scottrade, don’t plan on it coming 7
- Agent: Vanek was not ‘involved’ in money laundering 12
- Even after big changes, Isles still struggling defensively 13
- Back to junior: Sabres return Reinhart to WHL Kootenay 4
- Report: Phone hearing for Burrows, who says hit on Emelin wasn’t late 38
- Video: Burrows catches Emelin with a late hit (Updated) 12
- Report: Thomas Vanek involved in money laundering scandal 37
- Video: John Moore with an elbow to the head of Erik Haula (Updated) (62)
- Report: Varlamov being sued by ex-girlfriend (47)
- Kreider calls Brodin hit a ‘bang-bang play,’ doesn’t plan to dramatically change his game (46)
- No hearing scheduled for Kreider after Brodin hit (44)
- Kopitar out, Lombardi irate as Kings will play shorthanded vs. Flyers (40)