Lundqvist Could End Up Being Considered Greatest Ranger Ever
Henrik Lundqvist was already the generational goaltender of his era, the all-time winningest European netminder and the only goalie in NHL history to record 20 wins in each of his first 12 seasons. The shot-stopping Swede added another impressive feather to his cap Saturday by becoming the fastest netminder in league history to reach 400 wins.
By defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2, Lundqvist reached the milestone in 727 games, albeit with shootout wins inflating his total. That’s quicker than the likes of Martin Brodeur, Chris Osgood, Jacques Plante and Patrick Roy. His affinity with Rangers fans has never been in doubt. Madison Square Garden roared louder and louder with chants of “Hen-rik, Hen-rik” as the minutes ticked down. Some fans paid upward of $130 on ticket resale websites to ensure they could witness history.
“I’m going to tell you that last couple minutes you hear the crowd, you get goosebumps, and it was just like my first game here when they chanted my name,” Lundqvist said following the victory. “Winning at MSG, the crowd is really into it, and it’s just the best feeling. That’s why you go to work every morning and try to improve your game.”
The 34-year-old was desperate to accomplish the feat on home ice in front of the fans who have always offered unwavering support throughout his 12-year career. Alternate captain Derek Stepan revealed after the victory that Lundqvist willed teammates to get the job done by offering a stirring second intermission speech as the Rangers trailed 2-1 heading into the third period.