It was discussed during the second intermission of the Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders game on NBC and Larry Brooks of the New York Post covered asked the question as well: ‘Has Henrik Lundqvist played his last game as a New York Rangers netminder?’
Lundqvist got the two stars in Games 1 and 2 versus the Carolina Hurricanes. He hasn’t played terribly, but the Rangers are down two games in a best-of-five series. This means that the Rangers need to win on Tuesday or they’re done in this year’s quest to the Stanley Cup.
That leaves the Rangers with an interesting decision.
As of writing this, the Rangers have not revealed who their starting goaltender will be. Igor Shesterkin might still be deemed “unfit to play” and if so, the decision is to either play Lundqvist again or go with backup Alexandar Georgiev. Certainly, that’s not an easy choice.
Play a Backup to a Backup?
Georgiev is technically the Rangers third-string netminder and he’s got no playoff experience. That said, Lundqvist clearly isn’t getting the job done. T
With the Rangers on the verge of elimination today, the Rangers need to do something to turn the tide of this series. Asking Georgiev to take on that load is a big ask. There’s no telling if he’d be ready for it. Still, another loss and the Rangers won’t get another chance.
Update: The Rangers will start Shesterkin as per John Shannon.
From there, Lundqvist has his own decisions to make. He has one year remaining on his contract and at a value of $8.5 million. Speculation is that the Rangers are going to try and rid themselves of that contract.
If Lundqvist starts on Tuesday and loses, it’s a virtual guarantee that the Rangers will choose to move on. At that point, they’ll need to either ask the veteran goalie waive his full no-movement clause or they’ll need to buy his contract out.
Needless to say, for the Rangers, there’s a lot on the line during Game 3.
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