Who is the real "King"?
This year's Stanley Cup Final offers a lot of excitement. You have two fast paced teams, a number of veterans on both teams, and two great sports venues in Staples Center and Madison Square Garden. But, perhaps the most intriguing storyline of them all is the matchup between Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist in net. So far, though, the matchup has been a one-sided affair.
It is difficult to evaluate goaltenders unless you've dedicated you life to doing just that. There are so many subtle contrasts between every goalie that are so hard to detect. For most fans, the only real way to judge a goaltender is by statistics. So, here are Quick and Lundqvist's stats throughout the playoffs thus far:
Lundqvist: 12-10 record, 2.20 GAA, .922 SV%, 1 shutout
Quick: 15-9 record, 2.69 GAA, .910 SV%, 2 shutouts
Now, as you can see, Lundqvist has the upperhand in terms of goals against average and save percentage. But, Quick has a better record and he has one more shutout than Lundqvist in this year's playoffs. For both Lundqvist and Quick, I think we can all agree that both have them have been clutch in the postseason when they've had to be, but they were both more dominant in the regular season. We can also agree that they've both received a lot of support from their offense throughout the postseason as well.
The way I see it, Henrik Lundqvist's job is a lot harder than that of Jonathan Quick's. For one, Quick has been supported by the best defense in the NHL. Lundqvist doesn't have that same supporting cast as Quick. In my opinion, what Lundqvist has been able to do is much more impressive than what Quick has done. Sure, Quick has hoisted the Stanley Cup before, but we've all reached the conclusion that the Kings are a much better all around team than the Rangers.
The next game at MSG might be the Rangers last of the season. Up 3-0 in the series, the Kings could destroy New York's hopes of a Stanley Cup. All eyes will be on Henrik Lundqvist. In order to prove that he is still the alpha dog among NHL goaltenders, he'll have to outplay Quick and lead the Rangers to victory. But, the odds are against "King" Henrik and New York since the only team ever to win a Stanley Cup after overcoming a 3-0 deficit was the Maple Leafs back in 1942. For now, Henrik Lundqvist gets to keep his crown as the real King among all goaltenders.