Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lundqvist Filling Richter's Shoes?

In his guest blog post at the Rangers Report, Patrick Hoffman wonders if Henrik Lundqvist is the new Mike Richter...

"Doesn’t this come close to sounding like another star Broadway athlete that played between the pipes on Broadway for many years, one that put up solid numbers on more than a few sub-par clubs, won a Stanley Cup with a nearly perfect team, did a ton of charity work and was an all-around good guy? In my eyes, and may be yours, right now at least, Henrik Lundqvist is almost equivalent to the all-time winningest goaltender in Rangers’ history that starred for the Blueshirts for 14 seasons."

...my answer to that question is an emphatic "NO."

...while Lundqvist has been great as a Ranger, I've seen too many soft goals, long stretches of average play and playoff failures to even be considered in the same class as Richter.

...i think during Richter's career we Ranger fans got spoiled by his goaltending. His acrobatic and sometimes amazing saves became almost routine. Then after Richter was forced to retire we had to endure the goaltending follies of Herbert, McLean and Dunham. So now when we see Lundqvist dominating games we just assume he is as good if not better than Richter. But do yourself a favor, the next time "Rangers Classics" has a game from the 1990's sit down and watch Richter go to work. You'll realize there is no comparison.

17 comments :

bpette02 said...

I agree. Hank has to at least steal a play-off series before he could even be mentioned in the same sentence as Richter.

James said...

I don't think the point was Hank is there now, but rather that we may see him get there. Considering Hank is only three years into his career, he's on pace to potentially have a Richter-like career.

Don't forget, although Richter was a big-game goalie who often rose to the occasion (ie, 96 World Cup), he had stretches of mediocre play from time-to-time also. Also, Richter didn't have to steal any series for the Rangers like Roy did for the Habs in '93, the NYR teams were pretty good to begin with. Until we have another Stanley Cup in NY, Richter's place as the greatest is secure, but Hank is damn good. If he had the '94 Rangers team in front of him, he'd seal the deal. I can't agree with your "emphatic no", but I would agree with a soft "not yet".

theking said...

I agree with James. He is not Richter yet. You cant compare the two because Lundqvist has only played 3 seasons. Lundqvist does have the potential to be a legend like Richter. I believe he can have a better career than Richter.

liltedspop said...

he's not even The Beezer yet never mind the greatest to ever play between the pipes on Broadway!! in Richter we had a BIG game goalie the bigger the game the better he played, Lundqvist has not shown that ability once in my opinion & until he does that you cant even mention the 2 in the same breath!!!!!!

Scotty Hockey said...

I think you guys are looking at the past with rose coloured glasses. Outside of 94, Richter gave up plenty of soft goals and didn't win many big games. He was above 500 only six of his 14 seasons. He was never nominated for a Vezina, he never won an Olympic gold and - outside of 94 - he never carried the team. One year does not a career make and Hank certainly belongs in the conversation.

NYRFan said...

Scotty got to disagree with you. Although Richter posted a losing record the last six years of his career he averaged a gaa of around 2.90 and an above .900 save percentage in those years with an absolutely dreadful team in front of him.

Wins are very deceiving when it comes to goaltending.

And not coming up clutch except for '94? Maybe you need to go back and check out the '97 playoffs and '96 World Cup of Hockey.

Your other point about Richter not winning many big games is not a good argument either b/c Richter won the biggest game in Ranger history, while Lundqvist has not won a single big game, including 0-3 in elimination playoff games.

Trust me I'm not hating on Lundqvist. He is the single most important reason for the Rangers turn around post lockout. But to say Richter only carried the team in '94 is just inaccurate.

NYRFan said...

Sorry 1-3 in elimination games. Forgot Rangers won Game 4 against Pens in 2008 after losing first three games.

Mike said...

Hmm i dis-agree with hank not being able to be mentioned with richter. if it werent for lundqvist where would they rangers be the last 4 years? the answer is watching the playoffs from their summer house's. Hes a franchise goalie and hes career has just begun, give him a chance

Dr. Ogrodnick said...

lol. Up until 94, and at points beyond, the way you described Lundqvist is exactly the same way I would describe Richter. Does everyone forget the tying goal from behind the blue line that Richter gave up in 92 that turned the Pens series around?

Dave Pucks said...

Great discussion. I am saying Hank is better based on Save Percentage - which to me is like baseball ERA. Wins do not tell the story since a goalie's Won-Lost record is the same as the entire hockey team's. But Richter is still a great goaltender. Check BlueshirtBrothers.com for my complete explanation.

bpette02 said...

Does somebody named Scotty Hockey expect to be taking seriously? What is he like 15 years old? Listen Junior, in 1997 Richter stole 2 rounds in the play-offs. Against the Panthers and Devils. Also if you look back to game 3 of the 94 cup finals or game 7 of the conference finals, Richter was stellar. And I guess winning the cup doesn't count as winning any big games. And look back at the 96 World cup or the 2002 Olympics. U.S. hockey has been a joke since he retired.

Amos said...

no offense but what about the goal in the 1991 playoffs from center ice? what about the tying goal in game one of the stanley cup finals in 1994 leading to overtime? mike richter was a hall of fame worthy goalie, but he wasn't a god. he made amazing saves. lundqvist has made amazing saves. mike richter "stole" a lot more playoffs series with plenty of stronger ranger teams in front of him, lundqvist has come about as far as you can with no help. it's apples and oranges.

Scotty Hockey said...

Hey bpette, I've been rooting for the team for 27 years, how about you?

And read everything before you rant: I said outside of 94. I will give you guys the World Cup, that was some damn good goaltending for a meaningless tournament.

As for 97, he didn't carry the team. He was good, but didn't carry the team and certainly didn't come through in the clutch - we still fell short.

And don't talk to me about the 02 Olympics, I was there.

NYRFan - Hank has played behind horrific defense for several seasons and yet is still included among the best in the league. Richter NEVER was.

NYRFan said...

Scotty, despite the horrific defense Lundqvist has played in front of, he has played in Renney's defensive system. Where forwards didn't take chances and always came back to help.

I'm curious to see how he fairs in Tortorella's system.

And finally Scotty, I read your blog and respect your opinions on the Rangers and the NHL but to say Richter has NEVER been among the best in the league is just inaccurate and makes me wonder if you're holding some type of grudge against Richter. Did he snub you when asking for an autograph?

bpette02 said...

1997 Play-0ffs 15 games 2.11 GAA
932 SV% 3 SO.

And this includes the 5 games against Lindros and the Flyers when the Rangers got dominated.

Scotty Hockey said...

Inaccurate? Go back through all of your old yearbooks and look at the goaltender rankings. No one feared Mike Richter. His name shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as the best in his day - Roy, Hasek, Belfour, Barrasso, Mmmmaaarrrtttyyy ...

Kevin said...

I guess a solid Spot in the TEAM USA Hockey Hall of Fame doenst count? Scotty have you ever played net? do you know what it's like at all? Do you even play hockey? I have played net since i was 12 and i will tell you something, you can look at his Win/Loss and say he didnt carry a team, Post 94 He had the WORST D i have ever seen in this history of hockey, Atleast Hank has some Help a lot more blocked shots, comming from even the fowards. As far as Marty goes, hes a good goalie, however i would LOVE to see how he were to fare with the rangers D in front of him, Switch the D fron NJ and NYR and we will see whos Record would SOAR. If all you had was pucks flying at you, yeah a few would go in, soft or not, but if each game its 45 saves out of 47 shots then its a D problem, Hank has seen some of it, but not as much as Richter, Maybe Richter did snuff you for an Autograph, in 97 the guy came back from 2 groin injuries to still carry his team to face a young Flyers team, came back from 2 torn ACL's (I tore one in a game ITS NOT FUN) and even his fractured SKULL from a slapshot, No offence to Hank but he does have a LONG way to go before he will be on richters Level, and he will meet it and pass it, IF he stays healthy. He is a World Class Athelete, Gold Metal Winner, and is def one of the best goalies to grace the Rangers Crease for Sure, Hes still young, hes my age and has a lot to learn and more to work on.