New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is the first goalie in NHL history with 13 consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins
Going into this season, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was thought to be declining. Thus far, he has responded by having arguably his most impressive season. Lundqvist has been extremely consistent throughout his career. And now he has an NHL record to show for it.
With Tuesday’s win over the Philadelphia Flyers, Lundqvist is the first goaltender to win at least 20 games in 13 consecutive seasons. He’s also the first to do so in his first 13 seasons. Roberto Luongo came dangerously close to setting this mark last season (if you ignore the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season) but fell short by three wins.
Currently, Lundqvist is tied for fourth all-time in seasons with at least 20 wins, trailing only Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and Ed Belfour. He is tied with Tony Esposito and Chris Osgood. It’s even more impressive when you consider Lundqvist even got 20 wins during the 2012-13 season.
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"“I’ve been working hard, but I always say this: I’ve been very lucky to play with a lot of great players … the first five, six years with all the legends you played with really. You learn from really good players. I’m honored and proud.”"
This milestone puts Lundqvist among the all-time greats. And that’s precisely where he deserves to be. Yes, Lundqvist only has one Vezina Trophy. But it’s more of a sign general managers need to re-evaluate how they judge goaltenders than an indictment on Henrik.
Lundqvist didn’t need this accomplishment to be a deserving Hockey Hall of Fame candidate. That said, it’s even more difficult to make a case against him now. Goaltenders get injured. They have bad seasons. This makes Lundqvists’s remarkable consistency even more amazing.
For the past 13 seasons, the Rangers have needed their goaltender to be great. Lundqvist has almost always been up to the task, helping lead his team to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. He’s already cemented his place in franchise history. Now Lundqvist has his place in NHL history.