Henrik Lundqvist earned the nick name "King Henrik" because he is thought of as the best goalie in the NHL, the top of the heap. He will retain the nickname but the Stanley Cup Championship was won by another goalie, Hamden, Connecticut's Jonathan Quick. The New York Rangers, a large portion of them Wolf Pack graduates out of Hartford, fell short last night in a battle for the Stanley Cup. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Rangers in five games.
All three games played in Los Angeles went into overtime, the last going deep into a second overtime before Quick's Kings beat Lundqvist on an odd man rush. King Henrik looked dethroned and the Los Angeles King's Jonathan Quick won his second Stanley Cup in three years. He now has as many as Dominik Hasek and Georges Vesina, whose name is used for an award for the league's top goalie.
Maybe it was a bad omen, last night was King Henrik's 666th game on a Friday the 13th with a full moon in the sky.
Superstitions or not, Lundqvist gave up the third game winning goal but it wasn't until he had made 48 saves, 20 more than Quick had to make. The one criticism about Lundqvist is that he has not won a Stanley Cup. It is not really a fair argument. Lundqvist has won just about everything else, he holds most of the New York Rangers goalie records. Whether he wins a cup or not, he will never be forgotten as an elite goaltender. It is a very easy argument to make that Lundqvist carried the New York Rangers this far, with another goalie they may not have even seen the Eastern Conference finals. Most Ranger playoff games were one goal wins or defeats. The low scoring contests are always because of Lundqvist's play, he always keeps the Ranger's close. Countless times in these playoffs goals scored against New York went off Ranger defenseman in the crease. In other words many times you have to score on Lundqvist by accident. The only problem the Rangers have with Lundqvist is that he can't score any goals. The Rangers lose because they cant score.
King Henrik is still on top of his game and he has several more years with the Rangers to get that elusive last piece to his legacy but today Connecticut can be proud that one of their own home grown has reached Stanley Cup immortality. This is a true story of a kid from a small Connecticut town who has gone to the top and beaten the best.
Jonathan Quick played for Hamden High School, Avon Old Farms, and then went on to play college hockey at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was drafted to the other side of the country to play for Los Angeles. It wasn't long before kid Quick had risen to the top of the ranks of the Los Angeles King's goalie depth chart. He was starting by 2009 and three seasons later he won his first Stanley Cup beating the Devils and soon to be Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur. Quick has gone up against the best in the business in his two Cup runs.
The Rangers will go back to the drawing board and look towards next season. There may very well be a season when King Henrik wins his Stanley Cup but right now it is Jonathan Quick, with his Connecticut roots, who is the Champion, and the league's best goaltender.