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Biron to start over Lundqvist Saturday

Oct 11, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT

hankandbirongetty Getty Images

Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers are off to a putrid start, so Alain Vigneault is going with Martin Biron in net against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, Newsday’s Steve Zipay reports.

Lundqvist, 31, admitted that his confidence was shaken after allowing six goals against the Anaheim Ducks in Thursday’s embarrassing loss.

“I don’t have an explanation. You try just to battle,” Lundqvist said. “I can only speak for myself. You try to stay confident. but that’s really tough in a game like this, a situation like this. I have to better, we have to be better. Let’s not point any fingers; we all have to step up.”

Rangers GM Glen Sather said he expected the team to face growing pains, just not to these proportions (1-3-0 record with six goals scored, a league-high 20 allowed).

“I expected some but I didn’t think it would be this bad,” Sather said. “Some guys are struggling; we’ll get better.”

Considering Lundqvist’s rough start (.879 save percentage, 4.31 GAA), it might be better for everyone if he takes a little breather. The Rangers enjoy what might be a helpful gap between tomorrow’s game in St. Louis and Wednesday’s trip to face the also-struggling Washington Capitals.

Besides, the Blues haven’t been very kind to goalies lately, anyway.

  1. joey4id - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    A couple weeks ago I wrote here that Lundqvist didn’t look sharp. He was playing way too deep in his net. I mean a goalie can’t be effective if the heels of his skates are on the goal line. It’s a small adjustment that will great benefit his play. He’s got too much talent not to rebound.

    • justin.boening - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Take a look at where in the net Lundqvist has played, throughout his career, before you make a foolish critique like the one above. His deep play allows for world class efficiency, which translates to world class consistency. It’s not the 90s anymore. Pay attention.

      • joey4id - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        Hmmm! You know. Now that you mention it, it’s true that he’s been playing deeper than other goalies. It has nothing to do with the times though, because I’n not aware of too many goalies who play deep like he does.

    • skr213 - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      So he should play way out of the net, then leave himself vulnerable for being wildly out of position for rebounds? No, I think there are a lot of goalies in the NHL that are playing WAY too far outside the net. When Nabby used to play for the Sharks it drove me nuts. 50% of his GA were on rebounds where he was playing too far out and got left out of position for the rebounds.

    • justin.boening - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:37 PM

      If you’re interested in Lundqvist’s style and would like to learn more about the philophy behind it, then google his coach’s name, Benoit Allaire, and maybe even Benny’s brother’s name, Francois. Both have played a pivotal role in shifting the style of play from aggressive/standup, which is what you’re advocating for, to deeper/butterfly, which is what’s popular these days.

      • joey4id - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:16 AM

        I’m not advocating aggressive/standup play for a goalie. Alllaire made Patrick Roy in the mid 80s by re-inventing how the position was played and to this day it is still the defacto standard for goalies . What I’m saying is that Lundqvist seems to be playing deeper than other goalies and it prevents him from effectively cutting off the angles. Alllaire never taught a goalie to play deep in his net. Sure when the puck is bouncing around in the crease you don’t want the goalie to be way out there. You look at every other goalie in the NHL and you’ll notice them standing at the top of the blue paint when the puck is far out. Next time you see a breakaway or shootout watch the goalie how he starts at the top of the crease and glides backwards as the player gets closer.

  2. joeyg97 - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Like biron will give them a chance to win.. How is this guy still on the team?

  3. barkar942 - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    The only way this team will get better is with a clean sweep of Slats, AV, Samuelson and Arniel. Bring in Gernander and quick, or this season will be lost a month in.

  4. barkar942 - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Last time I saw the Rangers play this badly was when Trottier was coach!

  5. DED - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Lundqvist’s worst start to a season ever, no? In a contract year no less.

    • barkar942 - Oct 11, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Don’t worry about his contract year- bcisleman will be thrilled with their free agent signing of Hank in July if the Rags don’t ditch AV and company.

  6. thecheeman - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    I think the NHL needs to figure out a way to get AV’s goalie-management skills behind the bench in Philadelphia and watch some mind-blowing fireworks.

  7. stakex - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    I think this has more to do with the play of the team as a whole then Lundqvist’s play. With the rest of the Rangers playing so bad in front of him, nothing good comes from leaving him in the net.

    On that point, someone needs to explain to me why AV left him in the net to get bombed for 6 goals the other night. After the first two it was very obvious a blowout was coming, and leaving Lundqvist in the net made no sense.

    • President Charles Logan - Oct 11, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Well since you seem to think that you’re Captain know it all , you should already have the answer to that

      • barkar942 - Oct 11, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        The answer is real simple- who is starting in St. Louis? That decision was already made by the end of the first period.

  8. nicknyhc - Oct 11, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    I love how stupid half the comments on this site are.

    Lundqvist has been a world class goalie, Vesina winner, and team MVP for the Rangers for years now. The Rangers go through a coaching change, implement a brand new (to them) defensive system and have 3 bad games and everything is Hank’s fault?

    Come on.

    Also, Rangers fans screaming “Fire AV!” 4 games into his first season are retarded. 3 losses, albeit very embarrassing loses, does not constitute firing a coach. New systems take time, and regardless of which defensive system you’re playing if you make sloppy passes, don’t pick your man up in the defensive zone, fail to clear the puck, and take bad penalties, you’re gonna have a tough time winning.

    Focus is focus.

  9. montealban28 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    I called this before the season even started, Queen Henry is going to have a lot of adjusting to do. More room behind the net and smaller equipment. He lost 5 inches off of his pads and he is being exposed a little bit now. People have been taking shots at him for several years regarding his over-sized pads.

    • montealban28 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:33 PM

      from nhl.com

      Shallower nets — The goal frames were trimmed by four inches on each side, taking eight inches off the entire width of the bottom frame. Many people believe this could lead to more wrap around goals and some think centers will be able to utilize additional space with passes from behind the net.

      “I think you’re probably going to see a few plays based on that, but I’m curious to see how many,” Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “It’s one of those things that until you see it it’s tough to evaluate it.”

      Walkom thought of another possibility, something the referees will have to watch out for.

      “You’re going to see guys cutting closer to the net and we could have more players running into the ends of goalies’ sticks,” Walkom said. “Our guys need to be aware of that, whether it’s intentional, unintentional, incidental. There are a lot of elements of judgment around the net and now it just makes more. Is the goalie extending himself? All of that comes into play.”

      Goalie equipment — The NHL streamlined goalie equipment this season, reducing the size of the leg pads.

      A goalie’s leg pads can’t go higher on his leg than 45 percent of the distance between the center of his knee and pelvis. The pads can go no higher than nine inches above the knee for goalies with an upper-leg measurement of 20 inches, which is roughly the average number for goalies in the NHL.

      The previous rule, which was instituted prior to the 2010-11 season, stated that leg pads could not go higher than 55 percent of the distance between the center of a goalie’s knee and his pelvis, and that a goalie with a 20-inch upper-leg measurement could wear a pad that goes no higher than 11 inches above the center of his knee.

  10. sportsfan69 - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    What this season has shown us Ranger fans is Lundqvist is an overrated goaltender that did well in Tortorella’s defensive system. Hendrick Lunndqvist weaknesses widely obvious. Lundqvist is the King of fashion, fast cars, and a metrosexual pretty boy, who is average goalie at best.

  11. sportsfan69 - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    What has he won other than a gold medal for a Sweden team was the talented group in the tournament. Lundqvist is NO Patrick Roy, Brodeur, or Quick.

  12. sportsfan69 - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    I bet the Rangers don’t win more than 30 games if there lucky. How many free passes does Glenn Sather receive? The old man needs to be replaced.

  13. sportsfan69 - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Signing Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Brad Richards. Trading for Rick Nash, a lazy soft player. Don’t count on Nash for the playoffs, he can’t handle the pressure of the playoffs when it counts the most. He’s a regular season stats player.

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