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Benching Lundqvist? That’s laughable

By: John Galletley

There is no way the Rangers should even consider benching Henrik Lundqvist. He is the reason they are where they are.

There is no way the Rangers should even consider benching Henrik Lundqvist. He is the reason they are where they are.

Rumblings, grumblings, whatever you want to call them, there have been talks in the New York area about benching the New York Rangers’ world-class goalie Henrik Lundqvist. That idea may be one of the more ridiculous things suggested by people even slightly involved with sports.

Lundqvist has definitely been struggling these past two games, having given up 12 goals in two games to the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Rangers are now down 2-1 in the series. Lundqvist even admits he felt a little rattled by the speed of the Lightning and how quickly they can produce opportunities.

He’s in a slump; it’s as simple as that. Some Rangers fans are ready to turn their back on the guy that has had proven playoff success with them in some of the biggest stages. Lundqvist is the main reason why the Rangers even escaped their last series against the Washington Capitals. He put on a world-class performance to match the hot goaltender Braden Holtby.

It’s amazing how fast some fans forget everything Lundqvist has done for them. Admittedly, Cam Talbot had a great regular season that kept the Rangers afloat when Lundqvist was down. But with that, the simple fact is he’s not a world-class goalie with a Hall of Fame resume.

This idea of Lundqvist getting benched isn’t contained in the New York area from distraught fans. It was seriously asked by reporter Larry Brooks of the New York Post to head coach Alain Vigneault. Since Vigneault is a man that actually has his head on straight and possesses some common sense, he laughed it off asking Brooks if that was a serious question. Brooks replied “yes”.

Brooks knew that comment was going to get some attention so he even wrote a reactionary article trying to defend why he asked that question to Vigneault. His biggest defense was that he made a comparison of this scenario to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals when Vigneault was coaching the Vancouver Canucks.

Roberto Luongo struggled in that series and was even benched for a game in favor of Corey Schneider. Brooks suggests that Vigneault stuck with Luongo too long and that Schneider should’ve gotten the call in the later games of that series. The problem with this comparison is that it’s not the same as what’s going on right now.

The difference between that comparison and this situation is that Luongo is not near the goaltender Lundqvist is. He is currently struggling to hold onto a starting job in the NHL on the Florida Panthers whereas Schneider has been very successful with the New Jersey Devils. Lundqvist is one of the top goalies in the NHL and won’t go down from that level anytime soon.

Even with that, it’s hard to make the call to bench the goalie that got you to where you are. You can’t give up on your superstar like that. It’s like benching Drew Brees in the NFC Championship for Matt Flynn just because he has showed signs of promise and Brees had a bad game in the previous round.

With that said, the Rangers and Lundqvist are married to a Stanley Cup in this era. As long as Lundqvist is on the Rangers’ roster, him and the team will either win a Cup together or go down in flames together.

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Want to talk sports? John Galletley is the man to go to. He has been following sports of all kinds since he was a child but had a first love for baseball being in a family of Yankees fans. He also loves to travel and has used sports in order to do this including taking several road trips to MLB stadiums and other sports venues. John has always dreamed of working in the sports world and wants to make his way there as a writer in order to follow the philosophy of never working a day in your life if you love what you do.

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